India-Sri Lanka Summit: India’s UPI System to Revolutionize Payments in Sri Lanka; Visit Yields Prolific Agreements in Industry, Energy, and Digital Economy

New Delhi: Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has arrived in India on a 2-day official visit, aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and exploring avenues of cooperation between the two neighboring nations. On Friday, President Wickremesinghe met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, where the two leaders engaged in a series of productive discussions.

The talks commenced with a warm exchange of greetings, highlighting the historical and cultural connections that have long bound India and Sri Lanka. Both leaders expressed their commitment to further enhancing economic and strategic partnerships for mutual growth and regional stability.

During the bilateral and delegation-level talks, the two countries discussed a range of issues, including trade, investment, security, and maritime cooperation in the Indian Ocean region. To boost economic ties and facilitate seamless financial transactions, an agreement was reached regarding the implementation of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in Sri Lanka.

The decision to introduce UPI in Sri Lanka is expected to revolutionize the country’s digital payment landscape, providing a secure, efficient, and cost-effective platform for fund transfers and transactions. This move aligns with the broader vision of leveraging technology for financial inclusivity and promoting cashless transactions.

In a statement following the meeting, President Wickremesinghe lauded India’s remarkable progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He acknowledged India’s steady economic growth, advancements in various sectors, and its role as a regional leader. The Sri Lankan President expressed his optimism about learning from India’s development experiences and forging a closer partnership to tackle common challenges in the region.

Outcomes of the Visit

During Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s 2-day visit to India, several significant outcomes were achieved, further strengthening the bilateral ties and cooperation between the two neighboring nations. The visit resulted in the signing of various agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) aimed at enhancing economic collaboration, renewable energy development, digital payments, and people-to-people exchanges. The key outcomes of the visit are as follows:

  1. MoU on the Development of Trincomalee: An MoU was signed between the governments of India and Sri Lanka, focusing on the comprehensive development of Trincomalee as a regional hub of industry, energy, and economic activity. The agreement aims to harness the strategic location of Trincomalee to promote trade, investment, and job opportunities in the region.
  2. Memorandum of Cooperation in Renewable Energy: Recognizing the importance of sustainable energy sources, India and Sri Lanka signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of renewable energy. This collaboration seeks to explore and implement joint projects in renewable energy generation and distribution, contributing to environmental preservation and energy security.
  3. Energy Permit for Sampur Solar Power Project: As a tangible step towards advancing renewable energy, an energy permit for the Sampur Solar Power Project was handed over during the visit. The project aims to establish a solar power facility in Sampur, contributing to Sri Lanka’s efforts to diversify its energy mix and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
  4. Agreement between NIPL & LankaPay for Digital Payments: An agreement was reached between India’s National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) International Payments Limited (NIPL) and Sri Lanka’s LankaClear (LankaPay) to enable digital payments using UPI-based apps in Sri Lanka. This collaboration will revolutionize the digital payment ecosystem in Sri Lanka, making transactions more seamless and secure.
  5. Joint Declaration of Intent in Animal Husbandry and Dairying: India and Sri Lanka expressed their commitment to cooperate in the field of animal husbandry and dairying through a Joint Declaration of Intent. This partnership aims to promote best practices, research, and knowledge exchange in livestock management and dairy production.
  6. Commencement of Ferry Services between Nagapattinam-Kankesanthurai: To enhance people-to-people contacts and boost tourism, both nations announced the commencement of ferry services between Nagapattinam in India and Kankesanthurai in Sri Lanka. This initiative is expected to facilitate smoother travel and cultural exchanges between the two countries.
  7. Increased Frequency of Flights between Chennai-Jaffna: Recognizing the significance of air connectivity, both leaders welcomed the increased frequency of flights between Chennai and Jaffna. This move will improve accessibility for travelers and foster closer ties between Tamil Nadu and the Northern Province of Sri Lanka.
  8. Multi-Sectoral Packages for Indian Origin Tamils & Eastern Province: President Wickremesinghe’s visit witnessed the announcement of multi-sectoral packages aimed at addressing the needs and aspirations of Indian Origin Tamils in Sri Lanka and supporting the development of the Eastern Province. These packages reflect the commitment of both nations to inclusive growth and empowerment of marginalized communities.

The outcomes of President Wickremesinghe’s visit underscore the shared vision of India and Sri Lanka to promote cooperation in diverse sectors for mutual benefit. The agreements and collaborations are expected to deepen the historical ties and pave the way for further progress and prosperity in the region.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reciprocated the sentiments and assured Sri Lanka of India’s continued support in its socio-economic development endeavors. He emphasized the importance of further strengthening cooperation between the two nations and reaffirmed India’s commitment to being a reliable partner in Sri Lanka’s growth journey.

The meeting between President Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Modi marked a significant step towards fostering closer ties and collaborative efforts between India and Sri Lanka. Both leaders expressed confidence in the potential of this visit to bolster their countries’ relations and create new opportunities for shared prosperity.

President Wickremesinghe’s visit to India is a testament to the longstanding friendship and shared interests that bind the two countries together. As the visit progresses, further agreements and initiatives are expected to be announced, deepening the cooperation and partnership between India and Sri Lanka in various sectors.

The two leaders are set to continue their discussions during the remainder of President Wickremesinghe’s visit, with a focus on strengthening people-to-people contacts and exploring new avenues of cooperation in areas of mutual interest.


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