Sri Lanka India economic pact to create US$500bn economy: PM
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will sign an economic pact with India by the end of the year that will expand trade and services creating a $500 billion economy with parts of Southern India, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe said.
Prime Minister Wickramasinghe and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi decided to sign the Economic and Technology Agreement (ECTA) by the end of 2016, he told an economic forum in India.
India’s Andra Pradesh, Telengana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala had a $400 billion economy, which when integrated with Sri Lanka, would make a $500 billion region, he said.
Economic analysts say, until some European economic ideas were seized upon by nationalists after gaining independence from British rule and their freedoms were robbed through customs and import duty structures inherited from colonial ruler, citizens of the region traded actively and migrated.
From the time of ancient kings, Sri Lanka trade actively with the so-called Coromandel Coast (present day Orissa, Andra Pradesh/Telengana and Tamil Nadu and the Malabar Coast, which includes present day Kerala and Karnataka). The so-called Kalinga area, to which Sri Lankan rulers have claimed kinship, also falls around Andra Pradhesh.
Sri Lanka’s original Austronesian culture and population, represented by the legendary Kuweni, was swamped by and replaced by an Indianised Hindu-Bhuddist culture like much of East Asia, resulting close trade ties.
The rulers of the area inter-married and fought with each other regularly with shifting allegiances. The phenomenon spread as far as Indonesia and the Philippines. (Colombo/Oct07/2016)