India ready to do more for SL - Indian HC

Prepared to address Lankan concerns :

The Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), proposed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe when he visited India in September last year, would also focus on sectors such as capacity building, technology, vocational training, IT and tourism, among others, which would benefit Sri Lanka, Indian High Commissioner Y. K. Sinha said.

“The recent visit of the Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama to India was very successful and the keenness to move forward was palpable on the sides,” he said at the eighth Annual General meeting of the Indo-Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Colombo recently. He said that the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement has been beneficial to both countries. The first round of negotiations on the ETCA will be held next week.

“India is aware that greater economic integration requires moving in an asymmetric manner – India is doing more than is expected by Sri Lanka.

India was prepared to move at a pace which Sri Lanka is comfortable with and address Sri Lankan concerns as well as take measures to facilitate Sri Lankan exports to India,” he assured.

Noting that India had attracted FDI amounting to US$ 40 billion in 2015-16, the High Commissioner said that Sri Lanka needed to take advantage of its proximity to India by linking into value chains and supply chains. ILCCI, representing the apex business stakeholders should play the lead role in this.

ILCCI had led a 12-member delegation to the ‘Make in India Week’ in February and should mount more such delegations to India.

High Commissioner assured full facilitation in the activities of ILCCI. Highlighting the new and transformative phase in India-Sri Lanka bilateral relations. He said said that four high level bilateral visits took place within the first 90 days of the formation of a new government in Sri Lanka in January 2015.

The stream of high level visits had continued and enhanced bilateral economic and commercial engagement were an important agenda point in all these meetings. The Group Managing Director of Watawala Plantations, Vish Govindasamy was re-elected as the President of the ILCCI. Govindasamy outlined many activities carried out by ILCCI in the recent past, with the trade promotion mission to India parallel to ‘Make in India’ week being the highlight.

Twelve companies, both Indian and Sri Lankan based in Colombo participated in the Mission to Mumbai, and developed successful business bilateral business contacts.

Romesh David, President, Transportation Group of John Keells Holdings PLC and Biju Jacob, Country Head of ICICI Bank were re-elected as the two Vice Presidents of the Chamber.

Mano Selvanathan, Group Director of Carson Cumberbatch PLC remains as the Immediate Past President.

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