The High Commission of India in Colombo organized the “India – Sri Lanka Defense Seminar with Exhibition” on 7 June 2023. The exhibition was inaugurated by the Minister of Defense of the State of Sri Lanka, Premitha Bandara Tennakoon. A large number of industries from both countries attended the exhibition and showcased their products.
Addressing the gathering via video message, Defense Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane described Sri Lanka as India’s priority partner, saying that under its “Neighborhood First” policy, New Delhi is committed to ensuring the capabilities and capabilities of the armed forces of the neighboring country. He called Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) as the underlying theme of India’s maritime policy. This vision is rooted in promoting cooperation within the region through inclusiveness and utilization of India’s capacity for the benefit of its friendly countries in the common maritime neighbourhood.
Shri Giridhar Aramane highlighted the common security challenges faced in the Indian Ocean region such as terrorism, piracy, drug and arms trafficking and illegal migration. He called for a strengthened and active collaboration to address these challenges with the aim of creating a safer environment.
The defense secretary stressed that the Indian defense sector is on the cusp of a major revolution and the aim is to establish a strong local R&D and manufacturing ecosystem while fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the scope of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative. He stressed that sharing knowledge in these areas would help strengthen ties between the two countries.
Sri Lanka is one of India’s major development partners and this is an important pillar of bilateral ties. The Indian government has extended a $150 million defense credit line to the Sri Lankan government. Of this, $100 million of credit was used.