The proposal to establish land connectivity between India and Sri Lanka and the potential benefits of regional economic integration. It also highlights the need for deeper infrastructure development and progress in areas such as power grid connectivity and trade.
Sri Lanka's President Ranil Wickremesinghe has proposed establishing land connectivity with India.
Wickremesinghe had previously suggested building a bridge linking Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu with Talaimanar in Sri Lanka's Northern Province.
The proposal aims to promote regional economic integration and generate more opportunities for economic growth.
Opposition from groups representing Sinhalese-Buddhists has previously hindered the progress of the project.
In July, a joint statement between Wickremesinghe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned conducting a feasibility study for land connectivity.
Wickremesinghe mentioned the project in his recent Budget address, stating that the Colombo port would meet the supply needs of southwest India and the Trincomalee port would meet the supply needs of southeast India.
India and Sri Lanka have signed a memorandum of understanding on a bilateral grid, but no electricity has been transmitted yet.
India has been exporting at least 7,000 million units of electricity annually to Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh also signed memoranda of understanding with India in 2010 for collaboration in the power sector.
Sri Lanka is currently recovering from a 25-year civil war and has projects underway involving Indian participation in the renewable energy sector.
The progress of the transmission network project between India and Sri Lanka, which aims to transfer 1,000 MW of electricity, is not satisfactory.
If the project had been in place in 2022, Sri Lanka would not have suffered power cuts and blackouts.
India and Sri Lanka should focus on meeting the deadline of 2030 to ensure the completion of the project.
India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement was signed in December 1998, but the two countries have not been able to go beyond it despite holding talks for years on entering into an economic and technology cooperation agreement.
India regained its position as the largest source of imports for Sri Lanka, accounting for about 26% of total imports.
India remained the largest single country of tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka, with a share of 17% of the overall number of arrivals.
Sri Lanka's underperformance in bilateral trade with India is evident when compared to Bangladesh, whose recent economic growth has been impressive.
Sri Lanka should not be bogged down by the baggage of history and should learn from Bangladesh's mutually-beneficial economic relationship with India.
Resumption of air services between Chennai and Jaffna
Launch of passenger ferry services between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai
Joint venture agreement among India's National Dairy Development Board, the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, and Cargills of Sri Lanka for self-sufficiency in the dairy sector
Sri Lanka was once viewed as a high standard of living and stable economy