Large potential for increase in bilateral trade | Daily News


India -Sri Lanka:

Large potential for increase in bilateral trade

High Commissioner  of India, Gopal Baglay
High Commissioner of India, Gopal Baglay

There is substantial potential for increasing bilateral trade between India and Sri Lanka from the current USD 4.59 billion in 2019 High Commissioner of India, Gopal Baglay told the Annual General Meeting of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

India is among top investors in Sri Lanka as the island is a priority destination for Indian companies investing in the region. “There is keenness on parts of various Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry for exploring opportunities with Sri Lanka.”

Many leading Indian companies have joint ventures in Sri Lanka in various fields in area like IT, real estate, financial services, petroleum, retail, telecommunication, health, tourism, food processing, metal and other industries, tyres, cement, glass manufacturing and infrastructure development such as railways, power and water supply.

“These joint ventures meet not only Sri Lanka’s requirements, create jobs and capacities here but also help Sri Lanka earn valuable foreign exchange through exports to India and other countries. Going forward, there is substantial potential for cooperation in areas like energy - both conventional and non-conventional - as well as infrastructure and connectivity projects.”

Sri Lanka needs to look no further beyond India for a partner that can ensure “post-millennial energy security”. This is especially relevant in areas such as renewable and solar energy.”

As Sri Lanka aims to develop a strong ‘pharma’ industry not just for itself but for the global market, there are immense opportunities for collaboration between the strong Indian capabilities and Sri Lanka, through an enabling regulatory framework and suitable infrastructure.

I observe that agriculture, livestock and dairy, creation of value chains in textiles, digitization and E- governance, vocational training, and education are priority areas for Sri Lanka.”

Collaboration between private institutions in higher education could help Sri Lanka conserve precious foreign exchange and connecting young innovators and start-ups presents another exciting prospect.”

“In the given situation, we understand the difficulties related to the external sector and payments and these may have been reasons for recent import curbs and restrictions. I would only say that investors and businesspersons naturally look for policy consistency. Especially the small and the medium seek out level playing fields.

He appealed from the Chamber and its prominent members – both as persons and entities, individually as well as collectively to redouble its advocacy towards these objectives.

He said both countries maintain close relationships for over centuries and both leaders have agreed to significantly expand its vistas for the present and the future alike.

“Prime Minister Modi’s initiative within the SAARC rubric in the month of March itself led to, inter alia, immediate establishment of SAARC Emergency Fund and Sri Lanka are the largest contributors to this so far.”


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