External Affairs Minister Jaishankar talks about rupee trade with Sri Lanka

The New Indian Express was the first to report about India and Sri Lanka likely to begin trading in Rupee on July 21st, 2022.

Published: 20th January 2023 04:50 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th January 2023 04:50 PM   |  A+A-

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar meets Sri Lanka's President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.(Photo | Twitter)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: In a turbulent world, it is essential that India and Sri Lanka steady their trade. The use of rupee settlement for trade is obviously in our mutual interest. External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar, said this in Colombo on Friday.

EAM met with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremasinghe and other ministers in his Cabinet on Friday. Dr Jaishankar also extended a formal invite on behalf of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, for President Wickremasinghe to visit India.

The New Indian Express was the first to report about India and Sri Lanka likely to begin trading in Rupee on July 21st, 2022 when Sri Lankan Central Bank had a closed-door meeting with Corporate honchos from India in Colombo to discuss the way forward for trading in Indian rupee.

India will encourage greater investments in the Sri Lankan economy, especially in the core areas like energy, tourism and infrastructure. ``We count on the Government of Sri Lanka to provide a more business-friendly environment to create a powerful pull factor. I am confident that the gravity of the situation is realized by policy makers here,’’ EAM added.

Meanwhile, Dr Jaishankar said that India was extending financial assurances to the IMF to clear the way for facilitating Sri Lanka’s economic recovery. "Our expectation is that this will not only strengthen Sri Lanka’s position but ensure that all bilateral creditors are dealt with equally,’’ added.

Meanwhile, EAM said that India wanted to express solidarity with Sri Lanka during these challenging times for the island nation. "As you all know, last year, India extended about USF 4 billion in terms of credits and rollovers to help Sri Lanka get through an economic crisis. For us, it was an issue of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and not leaving a partner to fend for themselves,’’ Dr Jaishankar added.

Energy security is today one of Sri Lanka’s most serious challenges. India has extended support to Sri Lanka in the past year by sending them petrol and diesel in order to keep the economy afloat.

"This country has enormous renewable energy potential that can become a sustainable source of revenue. It has the capability as well for Trincomalee to emerge as an energy hub. In its support for Sri Lanka, India is prepared to be a reliable partner on such initiatives,’’ Dr Jaishankar added.

Sri Lanka is dependent on India for tourism and Indian tourists are increasingly returning to the island nation.

"But there are many more steps we can take to make this sustainable. Strengthening connectivity and promoting travel is therefore a very high priority for all of us. Definitely, encouraging Indian tourists to make RuPay payments and utilize UPI would be most helpful in this regard,’’ he added.


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