India says ready for economic partnership for 21st century with SL

Friday, 11 June 2021 00:23 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  •  Opines stable and predictable policies key for promotion of economic interactions

India High Commissioner Gopal Baglay

India this week said it was ready for an economic partnership for 21st century with Sri Lanka to usher in sustained and rapid growth and shared prosperity. 

Speaking at the Sri Lanka Investment Forum, India High Commissioner Gopal Baglay underlined that the future of economic and commercial bilateral partnership could focus on areas such as ports, shipping, connectivity, logistics, energy/renewable energy, IT, tourism and hospitality, transport, real-estate, health, education and agriculture. 

Outlining the comprehensive nature and scope of Indian investments in Sri Lanka, the High Commissioner underlined the importance of private sector participation and noted that Indian business and industry were perhaps the best suited to partner with Sri Lanka by virtue of proximity, familiarity and longstanding ties between the two sides.

He mentioned that expedited implementation of bilateral projects would enhance investor confidence and boost economic growth. Stable and predictable policies were identified as being the key for promotion of economic interactions. 

The SLFI held a dedicated country session on India on Wednesday. The dedicated session comprised remarks by several dignitaries including High Commissioner Baglay and State Minister for Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya, as well as a panel discussion involving representatives of three Indian companies with successful ongoing investments in Sri Lanka – HCL, IOCL (LIOC), and Ashok Leyland.

Minister Tharaka Balasuriya spoke about significant Indian investments in Sri Lanka and highlighted various sectors and projects in Sri Lanka that could be of interest for Indian investors. Areas outlined by him included automobile components, apparel industry/fabric parks, IT sector, pharmaceuticals, and education.

He also thanked India for its support in terms of medical supplies related to COVID-19, especially the supply of vaccines under the Vaccine Maitri Program. Acting High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India Niluka Kadurugamuwa and CCC Vice Chairman Vish Govindasamy also spoke at the country session. 

BOI Sri Lanka Director General Pasan Wanigasekara gave a presentation on investment opportunities in Sri Lanka along with the regulatory and tax framework for investors.

During the panel discussion, the three Indian companies shared their investment experience in Sri Lanka and spoke about their efforts to expand the business in Sri Lanka, especially in the context of the challenge posed by the pandemic.