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Foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla to visit Sri Lanka to strengthen economic partnership

New Delhi: India’s foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla will begin his 4-day Sri Lanka visit starting tomorrow. During his visit, the FS will be visiting 4 cities–the national capital Colombo and Kandy, Trincomalee, and Jaffna. The key focus during the visit will be strengthening economic partnership and people-to-people ties.

A release from the Indian ministry of external Affairs said, “The visit of Foreign Secretary will provide an opportunity to review our bilateral ties, progress of ongoing bilateral projects and ongoing cooperation to tackle Covid related disruptions.”

During the visit, FS will call on the Sri Lankan President, Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and the Foreign Minister. This will be Shringla’s first visit to Sri Lanka since the assumption of office as the Foreign Secretary of India.

Last year, amid the pandemic, India agreed on a $400 million currency swap agreement with the Reserve Bank of India extending the swap facility for Sri Lanka till Nov 2022.

A currency swap is a transaction in which two parties exchange principal and interest in different currencies. Companies doing business abroad often use currency swaps to get more favorable loan rates in the local currency than if they borrowed money from a local bank.

The MEA highlighted that “Foreign Secretary’s visit signifies the importance both countries attach to strengthening their close and cordial relations in all spheres of mutual interest.”

One of the locations where FS will visit is Jaffna, which has a number of Indian-assisted and constructed projects. The visit comes months after Sri Lanka unilaterally cancelled the trilateral pact with India and Japan for the development of the Eastern Terminal container of Colombo port irking New Delhi and Tokyo.