Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay called on Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday, their first meeting after the Virtual Bilateral Summit (VBS) between the Prime Ministers of India and Sri Lanka held on 26 September 2020.

The meeting gave an pportunity to follow up on implementation of the decisions taken in that high level interaction last month.    

Referring to the tone set by the two leaders in the VBS for expanding existing mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in a number of areas, the High Commissioner sought the guidance of Prime Minister Rajapaksa for further steps, including in the spheres of priority to Sri Lanka, the Indian HC said in a news release.

The High Commissioner mentioned that he and his colleagues in the High Commission had fruitful discussions in the days since VBS with a number of senior members of Sri Lanka’s Council of Ministers, including in the areas of economy, connectivity, power & energy, agriculture & animal husbandry, development cooperation, education &capacity building, water & sanitation, health& pharmaceuticals, culture and people-to-people relations

In the context of the Government of Sri Lanka’s high priority attached to water, sanitation, agriculture and manufacturing, the High Commissioner referred to India’s recent experience in these areas and stated that India was ready for developing further bilateral cooperation in accordance with Sri Lanka’s requirements.  

He responded positively to the suggestions of the Prime Minister Rajapaksa for Indian investment in research and manufacturing in Sri Lanka, including in pharmaceutical sector.

The High Commissioner stressed the significance of facilitating mutually beneficial trade and investment between India and Sri Lanka, which are close maritime neighbours and friends.  

The High Commissioner thanked the Prime Minister for his continued guidance for expeditious implementation of mutually beneficial projects.

Recalling the importance attached by Prime Minister Modi to promoting people-to-people relations between the two countries, the High Commissioner stressed in this context the significance of the grant assistance of US $ 15 million announced by Prime Minister Modi during VBS for promoting Buddhist ties between the two countries.   He mentioned that details of its implementation are being discussed with the Sri Lankan authorities concerned.