India to Promote Rupee Investments in Sri Lanka, Strengthening Economic Ties

Efforts Underway to Facilitate Indian Rupee Transactions in Sri Lanka, Enhancing Market Access for Businesses

Feb 27, 2024 - 07:22
Feb 27, 2024 - 07:22
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India to Promote Rupee Investments in Sri Lanka, Strengthening Economic Ties
India to Promote Rupee Investments in Sri Lanka, Strengthening Economic Ties

India is poised to advance rupee investments in Sri Lanka, aiming to deepen economic collaboration between the two nations. Following Sri Lanka's designation of the Indian Rupee for trade settlement and tourist transactions last year, efforts are now underway to enable smoother financial transactions and market entry for Indian businesses in the southern neighbor.

The move comes after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) permitted international trade invoicing and payments in Indian Rupees during FY 2023, streamlining transactions and bolstering the currency's global usage.

This initiative aligns with India's broader goal of elevating the international status of the Indian Rupee, positioning it as a robust currency for global trade. By encouraging investments in rupees, India seeks to reduce reliance on third-party currencies like the dollar, which often entail complex conversion processes and additional costs.

Despite attempts to seek comments, spokespersons from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Finance Ministry, and RBI were unavailable for immediate response regarding these developments.

India's economic relationship with Sri Lanka has strengthened significantly in recent years, with India playing a crucial role in supporting Sri Lanka's recovery from economic challenges, including inflation and foreign exchange shortages. India's assistance, exceeding $4 billion, has included credit lines, currency swaps, and deferred import payments, contributing to Sri Lanka's economic stabilization efforts.

Additionally, both countries have unveiled ambitious connectivity projects, including plans for a petroleum pipeline, power grid connections, and a comprehensive Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), signaling deeper bilateral cooperation.

Negotiations for the ETCA deal are reportedly in advanced stages, with expectations of finalization in FY25, according to recent reports.

The push for rupee investments is also expected to benefit Indian companies with significant investments in Sri Lanka. Major corporations like the Adani Group have undertaken prominent projects in the country, such as the development of the West Container Terminal in Colombo Port and potential investments in the power sector, underscoring India's commitment to fostering economic ties with Sri Lanka.

Looking ahead, there is a strategic vision to elevate the Indian Rupee to the status of a hard currency, paving the way for its inclusion in the IMF's Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket and enhancing its attractiveness as a foreign exchange reserve, sources revealed.

Also Read: Global Investors Flock to Indian Rupee-Denominated Bonds as Demand Skyrockets

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