ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka has conveyed its interest in accessing COVID-19 vaccines from India, Delhi’s top envoy External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmaniyam Jaishankar said.
Addressing a joint press conference this afternoon in Colombo with his Sri Lankan counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena he said India has supported Sri Lanka’s effort to tackle COVID through timely medical assistance reflecting its “neighbourhood first” policy.
“Now we are looking at post-COVID Cooperation and I carry back with me Sri Lanka’s interest in accessing vaccines from India,” he said.
Indian companies announced plans to roll out two vaccines yesterday and are expected to produce over a billion doses.
Reports from Delhi also said India hopes to give its neighbours some of the doses free as an act of good neighbourliness.
However, the Indian government has imposed export restrictions on the manufacturers to ensure Indians will get the vaccine first before it is sold globally.
Jaishankar also said Indian businesses are interested in investing in Sri Lanka and that he had the opportunity to discuss special zones for Pharmaceutical manufacturing and also in tourism,
“I will ensure an early follow up on Indian side,” he added.
Jaishankar met President Gotabaya Rajapaksa this morning and is expected to have talks with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa later today.
Indian External Affairs Minister who is on a two-day visit to Sri Lanka is expected to have an interaction with the Sri Lankan business community tomorrow. (Colombo/Jan06/2021)