Brotherly Ties

Galle, January 29 (LBO) – Bilateral talks starting this week will further broaden economic ties between India and Sri Lanka, while aid volumes to the country was also moving up, an Indian government official told an aid forum here Monday. Sri Lanka was now India’s largest trade partner in South Asia with India being Sri Lanka’s largest source of imports, External Affairs Additional Secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain said.

Meanwhile Sri Lankan exports to India was also picking up, with India becoming the third most important export destination of Sri Lanka.

India was now working on a 100 million dollar credit line to refurbish the railway track between Colombo and the Southern Sri Lankan town of Matara.

In the last four years alone, Indian credit lines amounting to 281 million dollars have been extended and utilized for diverse items such as wheat, buses, petroleum products, commodities, and consultancy services, Jain said at an annual meeting of Sri Lanka’s donors in the Southern coastal city of Galle.

The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), on which a round of technical sessions are starting on Tuesday aims to liberalize services between the two countries, moving beyond the opening of bilateral trade,