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Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 6.10 GMT

Indian business delegation upbeat following visit to Sri Lanka


A thirteen member high-powered Business Mission from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) visited Sri Lank from 18-20 November, 2012. This is the fourth business delegation from CII to visit Sri Lanka in the past one year.

Mr. Adi Godrej, President of CII & Chairman of the Godrej Group, during the meeting with the Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, underlined that Sri Lanka was a priority country for Indian Industry and conveyed the interest of Indian industry to invest in the Sri Lankan economy and create capacity for export.

The Indian delegation assured its interlocutors that CII would work closely with the Sri Lankan side to develop various investment proposals and make efforts to disseminate information on the opportunities available in Sri Lanka among the members of Confederation of Indian Industry. Mr. Godrej suggested that Indian companies should leverage the supportive policy environment provided by Sri Lanka to set up priority industries like pharmaceuticals, IT and tourism and hospitality. He said that CII would be happy to partner with the relevant institutions in Sri Lanka in the area of capacity-building and training of human resources at various centres of excellence run by CII.

He recalled the offer made earlier to train 200 Sri Lankan students at Infosys training facilities at Mysore, and requested the Government of Sri Lanka to expedite the finalization of modalities and take advantage of the offer. CII also agreed to share its experience and expertise to promote rural entrepreneurship.

Welcoming the Indian delegation, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the Government of Sri Lanka has had useful meetings with the CII delegation in the past. He accepted the invitation extended by CII to lead a business delegation to participate in the “Partnership Summit” to be held in Agra from 27-29 January, 2013. The Partnership Summit will provide opportunities to the government and businesses from Sri Lanka to showcase the trade & investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. CII also offered to organize a special session for Sri Lanka during the Partnership Summit.

During various other official and business meetings, the need for forging enhanced economic and trade relations between Sri Lanka & India was highlighted. Both Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and CII decided to undertake a study in a time-bound manner with the help of knowledge partners on each side, to identify specific areas under the Free Trade Agreement where both sides could work together.

During the interaction with the membership of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, both sides agreed on the rationale for closer economic integration, building on the progress achieved through the FTA and the need for intensive consultations towards developing a comprehensive framework for sustainable economic partnership.

Both sides also acknowledged, contrary to what is generally believed, that the trade between the two countries in the tariff lines covered by the FTA is balanced. The CII business delegation argued for early conclusion of a comprehensive economic partnership agreement between India and Sri Lanka, to take the economic relationship to the next level.

The High Commissioner of India, Ashok K. Kantha also received the business delegation and briefed them on various aspects of the business opportunities in Sri Lanka.




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Last modified: November 21, 2012.

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