New Delhi: India is one of our key markets as a trading partner, foreign investor as well as generating highest number tourists to Sri Lanka, deliberated Mr. Niluka Kadurugamuwa, Deputy High Commissioner, High Commission of Sri Lanka, New Delhi, India in the Inaugural Session themed “India – Sri Lanka Business Promotion, Challenges and Opportunities – Post COVID 19” of Sri Lanka 5P International EXPO 2021 organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Mr. Niluka Kadurugamuwa mentioned that economic recovery has become a priority for India and Sri Lanka following the severe effect of the pandemic. This is the time India and Sri Lanka should collaborate and deliberate on the way forward.
He also mentioned that there has been a constant rise in the imports and exports between India and Sri Lanka. For the V-Shaped recovery in Sri Lanka, we are in the process of policy reforms in Sri Lanka and the government is focusing on economic and strategic engagement to uplift the domestic industries to joint venture collaborations and to increase FDI flow to Sri Lanka.
Talking about Sri Lanka’s printing and packaging industry, he mentioned that the industry provides a vast range of products and services to the export market. They are exported to many destinations around the world including India. Due to the pandemic, there is a shift in the business models and trends; Sri Lanka’s printing and packaging industry is equipped to handle these changes, future trends, and demands with the adaption of the latest technology and practices.
Dr. Rakesh Pandey, First Secretary (Economic and Commercial), High Commission of India, Sri Lanka mentioned that India and Sri Lanka have been working with each other for a long time and have substantial trade and economic relations and despite the challenges, it remained stable and substantial which shows the strength of the economic ties. He also mentioned that 2021 will be the year for recovery and India- Sri Lanka will work closely together for long-term business engagement. The private companies need to forge partnerships that will help in integrating supply chains and strengthen bilateral trade and economic ties.
Mr. Keerthi Gunewardane, Senior Vice President, Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Sri Lanka mentioned that Sri Lanka has a free trade agreement with India which will help in getting more business generation. He also mentioned that printing and packaging are the growing industries in India and Sri Lanka and there is the opportunity for joint working with different companies in both countries to have better business relations.
Mr. Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary General, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in his welcome address deliberated about the vibrant, deep-rooted relationship shared between India and Sri Lanka with bilateral trade growth since the last decade and the number of leading Indian private sector companies investing in Sri Lanka and establishing their presence locally. He mentioned that Sri Lanka is one of India’s largest trade partners in the SAARC Region and India is Sri Lanka’s largest trade partner globally.
He discussed the top products of Indian imports from Sri Lanka include mineral fuels, mineral oils, and products of their distillation, copper articles, tea, coffee, wood pulp, etc. He also mentioned that India is also one of the largest contributors to the FDI in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka exports to India have increased substantially during the past many years. The main investments from India in Sri Lanka are in the areas of petroleum, retail, tourism, and hotel manufacturing.
Mr. Naveen Sardana, Chair, International Affairs Committee for South Asia, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry while proposing a vote of thanks to the delegates and participants, mentioned that this is the opportune time for business communities to work in close coordination with each other and leverage the deep-rooted relationship shared by both the nations.
The session was moderated by Mr. Naveen Seth, Assistant Secretary-General, PHD Chamber, and was attended by over 150 participants including the industry stalwarts from India and Sri Lanka.