Infrastructure boom seen opening Indian market for Sri Lanka

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will have more opportunities in the Indian with the ongoing rapid development of infrastructure in both countries, central bank governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said.

“India is our third largest market but our proximity to India in the past was worthless for transport infrastructure was bad,” he told the Financial Sector Investment Conference organised by Asia Securities.

But now infrastructure was booming in both countries with development of ports and airports, making this proximity more useful.

“So Indian growth will have an advantage. It will reduce transaction costs and give us more opportunities to the Indian market, with or without ETCA,” Coomaraswamy said, referring to the Indo-Sri Lanka Economic And Technology Cooperation Framework Agreement being negotiated between both countries.

“The jewel in the crown is trade policy,” he also said.

If Sri Lanka’s succeeds in widening and deepening its trade deal with India, signs a free trade agreement with China and makes use of the GSP Plus trade deal giving duty free acces to European Union, it will be well placed to attract investments.

 “Sri Lanka will be the only country in the world that will have preferential access to China, India and Europe,” Coomaraswamy said.

That will be an advantage which will create opportunities for exporters and differentiate Sri Lanka from the 190 countries chasing foreign direct investment.

Sri Lanka will have access to a market of over three billion people which can be used to attract investors to locate in the island and sell on a preferential basis.

(COLOMBO, December 07, 2017)





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