Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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India, UK work jointly on Sri Lanka with Global Innovation Partnership

By: Staff Writer

Colombo (LNW): Crisis-hit Sri Lanka has emerged as a key country of interest for India and the UK as they set out to operationalize a Global Innovation Partnership that allows them to cooperate in development projects in third countries, foreign news agencies reported.

The partnership, which is expected to focus on climate-smart innovations, is expected to come out with a list of priority countries and sectors next year.

The two countries have had early- stage talks about cooperation in Sri Lanka’s power and energy sector.

“The Global Innovation Partnership is a flagship new initiative between India and the UK to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals in developing countries.

The GIP is currently in its inception phase. It will foster, scale up and transfer climate innovations from India to countries in Africa, South Asia and the wider Indo-Pacific,” said a spokesperson for the British High Commission in New Delhi, in response to a press query.

The island-nation was hit by a major energy crisis last year which saw widespread power cuts and shortages of fuel. This fuelled massive citizen discontent, which led to the collapse of President Gotabaya Rajapaska’s government.

India has initiated a number of bilateral projects to bolster Sri Lanka’s energy security, including a multi-product petroleum pipeline and linking the power grids of both countries. These were announced during the July visit of Sri Lankan president Ranil Wickremesinghe to New Delhi.

As Colombo recovers from its economic crisis, joint investment in energy security by India and the UK may prove helpful, experts said.

The much-delayed Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm also saw movement — a project that could prove important to India’s efforts to build up energy reserves while also allowing Sri Lanka to improve its energy security.

Both sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of renewable energy. Progress was also made on the 135MW Sampur solar power project.

New Delhi has built out trilateral development cooperation initiatives in the past. With Germany, India has started work with four countries Peru, Malawi, Cameroon and Ghana.

The projects range from promoting agri-business among women in Malawi to potato production in Cameroon through agri-tech.

Some previous efforts to design trilateral partnerships for development had stalled. This was most notably the case with the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) which envisaged cooperation with Japan in the African continent.

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