India the biggest friend of Sri Lanka: PM

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Colombo, Feb 7

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardene on Tuesday called India as the biggest friend of Sri Lanka in the time of crisis.

Addressing the Tata Tiscon Dealer Convention 2023, he called on Indian companies to invest further in Sri Lanka. Outlining the benefits of Indian investments in Sri Lanka, PM Gunawardene highlighted that 90 per cent of components used by Lanka Ashok Leyland were indigenous.

At the event, High Commissioner Gopal Baglay said that both the Indian government and Indian corporates are working to build relationships that are beneficial to the people
within and beyond India, especially the neighbours, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Neighbourhood First" Policy.

He added that the driving force behind this spirit of engagement was community-centred business practices and philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam or "world is one family".

Referring to India and Sri Lanka as "civilisational twins", the High Commissioner noted that both governments are promoting people to people as well as business to business ties. He added that presence of numerous Indian business entities for the convention was the biggest vote of confidence not only in the relationship between the two countries but also in Sri Lanka's potential.

Business and commercial linkages between the two countries are witnessing steady growth.

India was the largest investor and also the biggest export destination for Sri Lanka in 2021. It continues to be the largest source of tourists as well. Indian companies in Sri Lanka actively support Sri Lanka's economic recovery through increased economic activities, value addition of products, services, job creation for Sri Lankan nationals and direct assistance to the people of Sri Lanka through various CSR activities.

--IANS

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