India says opportunities in Lanka “unprecedented”

India says the post war opportunities in Sri Lanka are “unprecedented” and this has helped strengthen ties between both countries.

The High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka Ashok K. Kantha said this while celebrating the 63rd Republic Day of India at India House in Colombo today.

He said that the year 2011 had witnessed impressive progress in all areas in India-Sri Lanka relations including political, security, trade, investment, tourism, education, culture, and development cooperation, in view of the unprecedented opportunities created following the end of armed conflict in Sri Lanka.

He referred to the recent successful visits of the Minister of External Affairs of India, S.M. Krishna and that of the former President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and pointed out that India was the largest trading partner of Sri Lanka, a leading investor and also the source of the largest number of tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka.

In 2011, bilateral trade surged by over 70% and is estimated to have touched an all-time high of US $ 5 billion, while Indian companies invested over $ 100 million in Sri Lanka, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said.

The Indian High Commissioner also highlighted the vast expansion in India’s development assistance and the growing recognition that Indian projects were being completed in a timely and efficient manner. Referring to the MoU signed for construction and repair of 49,000 houses under a grant assistance of US$ 260 million, he pointed that this was perhaps one of the largest projects of its kind undertaken by India in a foreign country.