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The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKI) and the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Relations hosted the webinar; ‘Deepening Economic Collaboration between India and Sri Lanka’ on Tuesday, 21st July 2020. The high-profile discussion was aimed at exploring business and investment opportunities and strengthening trade between the two countries.
Delivering the opening remarks, Foreign Secretary, Ravinatha Aryasinha outlined that the webinar is taking place at a critical time when economic recovery is a top priority for India and Sri Lanka following the unprecedented global pandemic of COVID-19. He said that the investment environment in Sri Lanka is conducive not only because of the stable leadership but also the strong bilateral relationship between Sri Lanka and India which was consolidated by early visits to India by the President, the Prime Minister, and the Foreign Minister where areas of cooperation were fully reviewed.
Secretary Aryasinha highlighted that the government was targeting more Indian investments in high valued products and that India was strong in textiles, IT, agribusiness, and also areas of technology transfer. He added that the government is committed to facilitating, protecting, and promoting the liberal investment climate in Sri Lanka by continuing to realign systems and procedures to suit modern business needs.
Commenting on Sri Lankan exports to India, he highlighted difficulties in market access often created due to non-tariff barriers in receiving countries which has become an impediment to farmers. He urged FICCI to work with Sri Lanka to help boost exports particularly in areas such as spices to the Indian market. He also mentioned the vast tourism potential in Sri Lanka which offers opportunities to overseas tourists and investors including those from India.
Delivering her opening remarks, Dr. Sangita Reddy, President of FICCI highlighted that India and Sri Lanka enjoy a robust trade and investment relationship with India being one of Sri Lanka’s largest sources of Foreign Direct Investment.
His Excellency Gopal Baglay, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, highlighted that India and Sri Lanka enjoy the close guidance of effective and forward looking leaderships in both countries, committed towards strengthening bilateral ties.
The event was also joined by; Chair, South Asia Regional Council, FICCI and President, Group Public Affairs & Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., Mr. Manoj Chugh; Chief Operating Officer, Ashok Leyland, Mr. Nitin Seth; Co-Chair, South Asia Regional Council, FICCI and Director – International Business CNH Industrial (India) Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Ashok Anantharaman; Executive Director, Investment Promotion, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, Mr. Prasanjith Wijayatilake; Director, Tourism Planning, Development and Investor Relations, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Dr. Prasad Jayasuriya; Head of Business Development, Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology, Dr. Lakshitha Pahalagedara; Board Member of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, Mrs. Suganthie Kadirgamar; Acting High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India, Mr. Niluka Kadurugamuwa; Additional Secretary Economic Affairs, Mr. P. Amza; and Director General, South Asia and SAARC Division, Ms. Aruni Ranaraja of the Ministry of Foreign Relations.
Communique released by the Ministry of Foreign Relations: https://mfa.gov.lk/foreign-secretary-aryasinha-urges-indian-investors-to-take-advantage-of-sri-lanka-governments-commitment-to-facilitating-protecting-and-promoting-liberal-ecosystem/