Indian Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Vinod K. Jacob recalled that a plane load of 500,000 vials of vaccines arrived in Colombo on Duruthu Poya Day last month.
“Probably because of the success of this initiative, I am given to understand that Sri Lanka is placing large scale orders for more vaccines from India,” he said.
He was speaking at the ICCSL-CIMA-Daily FT Most Admired Companies of Sri Lanka event held at the Lotus Ball Room at the BMICH today.
“Having seen at closed quarters, the benefits of jointly fighting COVID-19 related challenges, I am confident that both countries can deepen our cooperation in this field,” he said.
He noted that one of the lessons learned is that while dealing with public health matters as important as vaccines, it is imperative to respect the national regulator’s freedom and competence.
“I would like to commend the professionalism of Sri Lankan authorities who cut no corners and yet provided necessary approvals in just about a week to COVISHIELD,” the Indian Deputy High Commissioner said.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is deeply committed to making India-Sri Lanka bilateral ties stronger.
This, he said, has been evident in the outcomes of bilateral engagements including the visit of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to India in November 2019, of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to India in February 2020, the Virtual Bilateral Summit held on 26 September 2020 and most recently during the visit of External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar to Colombo from 5 to 7 January this year.
“Due to proximity and familiarity with Sri Lanka, Indian manufacturers can play positive role through investments, equipment, technology, know-how, and manpower training, to enable Sri Lanka to emerge as a manufacturing and connectivity hub. The implementation of large-scale economic projects in infrastructure and energy would give a big boost to investor sentiment and promote win-win and mutually beneficial cooperation. Let me reiterate that India abides by all of its international and bilateral commitments in letter and spirit,” he added.
Vinod K. Jacob said that India has been a preferred partner in Sri Lanka’s journey of progress, prosperity and development and looks forward to continuing this association for jointly overcoming all common challenges in the future. (Colombo Gazette)