ECONOMYNEXT – Visiting External Minister S Jaishankar had discussed starting an ‘air travel bubble’ with India and expanding a free trade agreement during a meeting with Sri Lanka business leaders.
India already had a ‘air-travel bubble’ arrangements with more than 20 countries, India’s High Commission quoted him as saying.
India was Sri Lanka’s largest source of foreign visitors before the Covid-19 pandemic.
There was potential to enhance tourism between India and Sri Lanka in view of proximity and cultural similarities between the two countries, Minister Jaishankar had said.
India’s air-travel bubble had helped mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the sector he said.
The establishment of a bilateral forum to discuss business-related issues, greater utilization of the Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement and the possibility of an expanded FTA between the two sides, conclusion of a Mutual Recognition arrangement on standards was also discussed.
Mahesh Amalean, Chairman/Co-Founder, MAS Holdings, KrishanBalendra, Chairman and CEO, John Keells Holdings, Kimarli Fernando, Chairperson, sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Umesh Gautam, President, Indian CEO Forum, Sri Lanka, Vish Govindasamy, Group MD, Sunshine Holdings Plc, Ashroff Omar, Group CEO, Brandix Lanka Limited, A. Mohan Pandithage, Chairman and Chief Executive, Hayleys and Hans Wijayasuriya, Chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce were in the meeting.
An Air-bubble arrangement for business travel, and the possibility of Indian investments in Sri Lanka was also discussed. (Colombo/Jan08/2021)