EconomyNext – Economic relations with India will play a crucial role in making Sri Lanka’s ambition of becoming an international logistic hub a success, the chief executive of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has said.
Mangala Yapa said the new Sri Lankan government efforts to forge a better relationship with India will give businesses on the island better access to the growing market on the subcontinent.
With India consistently growing as a big manufacturing and a consumption base coupled with its growing middle class, Sri Lanka’s relations with India will help tap the growing market opportunity, he was quoted as saying in a statement.
Yapa’s comments came during talks with Darja Bavdaz – Kurat, New Delhi-based Slovenian Ambassador for Sri Lanka and India, when she visited the island biggest business chamber.
“Sri Lanka needs to appreciate the unprecedented opportunity that is emerging in India and within South Asia," Yapa said. "We can see a new developments in the India-Sri Lanka relationship."
Sri Lanka’s new president, Maithripala Sirisena, will be visiting India in mid-February and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Sri Lanka soon after.
"These high-level visits will set the pace and direction for further enhancing of economic ties between the two nations,” Yapa said.
He invited Slovenia to use Sri Lanka as a platform to exploit the Indian as well as other South Asian markets taking the full advantage of the free trade deals in force.
“Sri Lanka is geographically located in the most enviable position to access the Indian market and therefore makes an ideal location for Slovenian businesses to invest and engage in business with one of the largest emerging markets,” he told the Slovenian envoy.
Darja Bavdaz – Kurat said Slovnia is looking to explore opportunities existing in the pharmaceuticals and food processing sectors.
Sri Lanka’s exports to the Central European country during 2013 stood at 2.61 million US dollars with the major exports being paper yarn and woven fabric of paper yarn and tubber related items.
Slovenian imports to Sri Lanka during 2013 were 1.08 million dollars with the island importing medical or surgical items, paper and paper board and electrical machinery.