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India, Sri Lanka to strengthen trade ties

Anand Sharma, Indian Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles, is all set to lead a high-level delegation to Sri Lanka on August 3, reports Zee News India. During his visit, Sharma will explore the possibilities of improved economic and trade co-operation between the two countries.

The delegation, consisting of 25 members in total, will be in Sri Lanka on August 3 and 4. Rajive Kaul, former President of CII and Chairman of NICCO Corporation; R Seshasayee, former President of CII and Managing Director of Ashok Leyland will be a part of the delegation.

According to an official release, "Sharma's visit would set the tone for doubling the bilateral trade at USD9 billion by 2017, and also move forward the dialogue process for the early conclusion of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)." Bilateral trade between the two countries is presently USD4.5 billion at present.

Speaking about the relationship between India and Sri Lanka, Sharma stated: "India attaches great importance to its ties with Sri Lanka. It is a relationship that is truly strategic and is rooted in history and civilisational roots. We are committed to realise the full potential of our two nations in trade, investment and economic co-operation."

Sharma is expected to meet Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka; Basil Rajapaksa, the Minister of Economic Development; Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry & Commerce; and GL Peiris, Minister of External Affairs. Possibilities of improving trade ties and co-operation between the two countries will be explored at these meetings.

Sharma will inaugurate the India Show in Sri Lanka on August 3, an initiative by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The show is also supported by the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC).

Over 108 companies from India are anticipated to participate in the India Show, to showcase products ranging across a wide spectrum – including automobiles, engineering products, tourism, infrastructure, food processing, financial services, education and pharmaceuticals.

Source: Zee News India