Indo-Lanka trade to cross $5 b mark
As year-on-year bilateral levels surged by 6.3%, overall trade
volumes between India and Sri Lanka too have increased to USD 4.91
"We are about to reach an important turning point in our bilateral
trade history-that is to cross the USD 5 billion mark," Minister of
Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen said at the fifth edition of
the Indo-Ceylon Economic Dialogue (ICE dialogue-5) organized by the
Federation of Chambers of Commerce and industry of Sri Lanka and
Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Minister Rishad Bathiudeen
Deputy Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Arindam Bagchi,
delegates from the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
and President of Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri
Lanka Sarath Kahapalarachchi were also present. "Sri Lanka and India
hope to expand the existing trade mechanism into a much wider engagement
as called by the highest levels of administration. Both countries are
now ready to cross the $5 billion mark in bilateral trade. This
promising trade growth was seen on a year-on-year basis even last year
were bilateral trade grew by 6.3 percent to arrive at this $ 4.9
billion," he said.
"We also notice significant demand from India for certain Sri Lankan
products during the last five years. These include nuts and seeds,
pepper, boats and ships, as well as our leading export brand, apparels.
In the past five years, our nuts and seed exports to India increased by
almost 35 times, pepper increased by three times to $ 85 million. Our
Ship and boat exports increased by nearly three times to $57 million and
our apparel exports to India doubled to $ 30 million by 2015," the
Minister said. On the investment side, from 2005 to 2015 September, the
total Indian investment volume in Sri Lanka has come close to $ 800
million. "We have been given to understand that more Indian private
sector FDIs of one billion dollars are in the pipeline. FDI movements
have become bilateral and some Sri Lankan FDIs have moved to India as
well," Minister Bathiudeen said.
"From the countries that supplied equity to India in the last 16
years Sri Lanka ranks as the 53rd country. As of March this year, Sri
Lanka's investments in India totalled USD 40 million. Sri Lanka's
investments in India stands above investments by such countries as
Portugal, Kuwait, Jordan, and some African countries," he said.
Among Sri Lankan firms invested in India and are doing well are MAS,
Orange Electricals, and Damro. Indian Deputy High Commissioner Bagch
said that in the aftermath of recent political changes in both
countries, there is renewed optimism in investment and trade on both
"A high level Indian delegation is headed to Colombo in October and
we are looking to re-formulate Indo Lanka CEO Forum when they are in
Colombo. As for our bilateral relations, after the FTA was signed,
Indo-Lanka relations heavily focused on economic relations. Indian
exports to Sri Lanka increased by 10 times while two-thirds of Sri
Lankan exports make use of FTA benefits,"he said.