Sri Lanka (Commonwealth Union)_ In a testament to its unwavering commitment to the people of Sri Lanka, India officially entered into an agreement with Colombo on Tuesday, ensuring the continuation of a USD 1 billion credit facility for the procurement of vital resources such as medicine, food, and other essential commodities for an additional year. Accordingly, the High Commission of India in Colombo, Sri Lanka, took to Twitter to reaffirm India’s commitment, stating that the Amendment Agreement, signed in the presence of Honorable Minister Shehan Semasinghe, extends the utilization of the Indian credit facility beyond the original duration until March 2024.
The statement read, “#India reaffirms its commitment to the people of #SriLanka. The Amendment Agreement signed in the presence of Hon.Minister @ShehanSema today will enable to use of the USD 1 billion #Indian credit facility for the procurement of medicine, food, and other essentials for one more year, beyond the original duration, that is, till March 2024”. It added, “The facility was extended through @TheOfficialSBI in response to a specific request from GOSL and forms a part of the multi-pronged assistance of USD 4 billion provided by last year”.
Recently, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India, Milinda Moragoda, held an interactive discussion with Trade Commissioners and Commercial Diplomats from New Delhi concurrently accredited to Sri Lanka. This engagement forms part of the ongoing efforts to foster deeper connections with the concurrently accredited missions in the Indian capital. Moreover, the interactive meeting was also attended by representatives from various countries, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Chile, Finland, Hungary, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Spain, and Sweden. The objective of the meeting was to explore avenues for enhancing trade and economic relations between Sri Lanka and these nations.
This extension of the credit facility was facilitated through the State Bank of India (SBI) in response to a specific request from the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and forms part of the comprehensive assistance package of USD 4 billion provided by India last year. Further, India’s commitment to supporting Sri Lanka’s essential needs underscores the strong bilateral relationship between the two nations. During the session, High Commissioner Moragoda briefed the attendees with updates on the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) Arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as the Indian Rupee trade and the planned economic cooperation with India.
The discussions encompassed a wide range of subjects related to trade and commerce, with a specific emphasis on supporting economic recovery in Sri Lanka, including potential trilateral cooperation involving India. In March of this year, the Executive Board of the IMF agreed to a 48-month extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility, amounting to USD 3 billion, with the aim of supporting Sri Lanka’s economic policies and reforms. Of this total, an initial disbursement of approximately USD 330 million was swiftly allocated to the country. This financial assistance demonstrates the international community’s recognition of Sri Lanka’s economic aspirations and the importance of supporting its ongoing reform efforts.