Rajapaksa's visit can boost trade, investments with Sri Lanka: Assocham

File photo of Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's visit to India has the potential to impart momentum to bilateral trade and investment ties while leveraging huge geo-cultural commonalities between the two nations, Assocham said on Friday.

Rajapaksa arrived here on Thursday on a three-day visit, his first overseas tour after taking over the reins of Sri Lanka 10 days back, a reflection of importance he attaches to ties with India.

"We can significantly increase our bilateral trade from the present level of about $7 billion. Besides, mutual investment can also flourish in a number of areas, including ports, airports, highways, metro rails, telecommunication, petroleum products and hydel power," Assocham President B K Goenka said.

As large global economies are becoming more and more protectionist, "it is time the neighbouring countries enhance their economic engagement and take mutual advantage of a vast market, tapping the resources of South Asia", he said.

"With a vast metro rail network under implementation in more than 30 cities, India has gained expertise in urban rail projects, which can be offered to Sri Lanka. Cities like Colombo can leverage Indian expertise in metro rail, while our large construction firms can further strengthen their presence in the neighbouring country," Goenka said.

Similarly, India's gems and jewellery sector can leverage Sri Lanka's enviable treasure of precious stones for third country exports, he added.

There is a great scope for mutual engagement in textile value-added products, marine products, processed foods along with logistics.

"Some of Indian retail giants can also look forward to opening stores in Lankan cities where people have tastes and choices similar to consumers in India," Goenka said.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel