Talks to boost Lanka, India trade
"In recent years India has emerged as one of Sri Lanka's major
trading partners."India is already possibly the third or second
investing nation in Sri Lanka and a significant number of Sri Lankan
enterprises have invested in India.
It is a two-way relationship that has been beneficial to both
nations", State Minister of Commerce of India Shri Jairam Ramesh told a
media briefing at the Ministry of Enterprise Development and Investment
With 135 commercial flights a week between Sri Lanka and India,
conditions have been created to favour tourist and business traffic
between the two countries.
He said that Indians are possibly the second largest group of
visitors to Sri Lanka. With an exchange rate that is favourable to them,
many Indians have found it attractive to visit the island.
A high-powered delegation headed by Minister Jairam Ramesh,
consisting of Senior Government and Business delegates called on
Minister for Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion, Dr. Sarath
Amunugama. Minister of Investment Promotion Navin Dissanayake, Chairman/
Director General of the BOI Dhammika Perera and senior government and
private sector officials held discussions with the Indian delegation.
The Indian Government delegation included senior officials such as
Alokh Prasad, High Commissioner of India, A. Manickam, Deputy High
Commissioner, A. N. Saran, Director, Ministry of Commerce, B. Shyam,
Foreign Service, and M. R Rajagopal, from the Centre for Development of
The business delegation comprised senior business personalities from
leading Indian private sector companies, some of them listed as Fortune
500 companies. They were Raman Roy CEO of Quatro, S. P Oswal, CMD of
Wardham Textiles, Ajit Ranade, Chief Economist of the Aditiya Birla
Group, O. P. Puranmalka, Group Executive Director of the Aditiya Birla
Group, Naishad Parikh of Arvind Mills, Shanthanu Paul Country Head of
Virtusa, R. S. Singhvi, President of Indorama, D. K. Narang, Vice
President of L and T. R. Narayan Executive Director of IOC, Sanjay
Radkar, President, Lands of Reliance SEZ, Bharat Desai Snr. Executive
Vice President of Reliance Industries, Sujit Banerji, President,
Reliance Industries, Arun Kumar Nanda, Executive Director Mahindra and
Mahindra, Dushan Soza, Head WNS Sri Lanka, and Amit Ruparella, Vice
President of TEXTPROCIL.
Dr. Amunugama spoke of the sustained growth of FDI in the country. In
2007, Sri Lanka had achieved US$ 700 million in FDI, the highest ever.
The 2008 target would be US$ 1 billion. He was confident that under
the management of Chairman/ Director General Dhammika Perera and the new
reforms at the BOI, this figure could be easily achieved.