India, Sri Lanka discuss setting up of special zones for pharmaceuticals, tourism

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 06, 2021

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, (left) after addressing a joint media briefing in Colombo, on Wednesday   -  AP/PTI

Jaishankar, Gunawardena hold talks on trade, defence, fisheries, post-Covid cooperation

Indian business is interested in investing in Sri Lanka and opportunities in areas such as pharmaceuticals, tourism have been discussed which will be followed up soon, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar has said.

“We have discussed important opportunities including special zones for pharmaceutical manufacturing as also tourism. I will ensure early follow up from Indian side,” Jaishankar said at a joint press conference with his Sri Lankan counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena in Colombo on Wednesday.

Jaishankar is on a bilateral visit to Sri Lanka to discuss ways to strengthen partnership between the two countries. Apart from his meeting with Gunawardena, the Foreign Minister will also meet President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and will hold discussions with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Many proposals are under discussion including in infrastructure, energy and connectivity, the Minister said, adding that its early implementation was in mutual interest and will accelerate Sri Lanka’s economic recovery.

Gunawardena said that multiple areas of mutual cooperation including economy, finance, trade, defence, security, fisheries, culture, maritime security and post-Covid cooperation were discussed in the bilateral meeting. “My delegation sought India’s partnership for an economic revival, stability through enhanced investment in different sectors of the economy,” he said.

The Sri Lankan Minister thanked India for its support in mitigating the adverse effects of the pandemic. “The Indian government’s neighbourhood first policy made a very positive impact on our health sector and economy during the critical period of the unprecedented crisis,” he said.

Jaishankar also discussed the issue of fisheries and said that India was looking forward to the early return of its fishermen.

Published on January 06, 2021

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