India and Sri Lanka have decided to cooperate towards the establishment of a multi-product petroleum pipeline from southern part of India to Sri Lanka, in a bid to ensure affordable and reliable supply of energy resources to Sri Lanka.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Friday (21 July), held bilateral talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi, during which a wide range of issues was discussed.
Accordingly, it was also decided to undertake mutually agreed joint exploration and production of hydrocarbons in Sri Lanka’s offshore basins with an aim to develop Sri Lanka’s upstream petroleum sector.
Meanwhile, in a bid to not only bring down the costs of electricity in Sri Lanka, but also to help create a valuable and dependable source of foreign exchange for the island, the establishment of a high capacity power grid interconnection between India and Sri Lanka to enable bidirectional electricity trade between Sri Lanka and other regional countries, including the BBIN countries, was discussed.
Speaking with regards to maritime and air relations between the two nations, cooperation towards the development of ports and logistics infrastructure at Colombo, Trincomalee and Kankesanthurai were discussed, with an aim to consolidate regional logistics and shipping, as per mutual understanding.
The resumption of passenger ferry services between Nagapattinam in India and Kankesanthurai in Sri Lanka and Rameshwaram and Talaimannar, and other mutually agreed places, was alos discussed.
When considering the matter of trade and financial connectivity between the two nations, it was agreed to facilitate investments from India in the divestment of Sri Lankan State-owned Enterprises (SOEs), and also in manufacturing and economic zones in various sectors.
The two leaders also discussed people-to-people connectivity between the two nations, and agreed to establish land connectivity between Sri Lanka and India for developing land access to the ports of Trincomalee and Colombo, which would thereby propel economic growth and prosperity in both countries.
Thus both, Prime Minister Modi and President Wickremesinghe directed the respective officials concerned to expedite the realisation of this shared vision.