By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): 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.
The Trincomalee port currently has a World War II-era 99-tank farm, with a portion of the facility under the control of Lanka India Oil Corporation and the remainder under joint control of the Indian Oil Corporation and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.
The construction of an oil pipeline to the Trincomalee port is expected to boost Sri Lanka’s energy security and improve economic cooperation between the two South Asian nations.
India officials have also affirmed their commitment to helping the country boost its energy security, with New Delhi officials announcing that India will maintain its support for Sri Lanka in developing oil infrastructure, as the two nations share common interests,
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 realization of this shared vision.