Days after Sri Lanka unilaterally cancelled Indian and Japanese participation in the development of East Container Terminal at Colombo port, India on Thursday said it has a longstanding interest in participation in the port.
Talking to reporters at the virtual weekly briefing, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India’s interest in participation in the Colombo port “is a long-standing one since most goods handled there are from and to India”.
“We had in principle agreement from the Sri Lankan Government in this regard. Current government has, however, expressed a preference in engaging investors directly. I understand discussions are still underway,” he said.
India and Sri Lanka signed a memorandum of understanding for “co-operation on economic projects” in 2019. The development and operation of the container terminal was one of the projects in the MoU and it was a joint venture.
Succumbing to strong opposition from trade unions across the country, Sri Lanka has unilaterally pulled out of the 2019 agreement with India and Japan for developing the strategic East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Colombo Port.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)