Naseer Ahamed (Eng.) Chief Minister of Eastern Province – Sri Lanka
Mar. 9, 2016
It gives me great pleasure to send a message of felicitation on the historical occasion of the Inauguration of the Indo-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ISCCI) on 25th May 2016 at 5.00 pm in New Delhi. Undoubtedly, this is an important occasion in the current context of bilateral relationships between India & Sri Lanka.
As we all are aware, trade between India and Sri Lanka has increased 10-fold after the Free Trade Agreement with bilateral trade between the two countries standing at $4.6 billion in 2014. However, there is a lot more to be explored, particularly considering the fact that more than 70% of India's exports to Sri Lanka are outside the FTA route, an area that needs to be addressed for greater economic benefits for the people of the two neighboring countries.
India should look at the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka more favorably based on the immense business and investment potential it offers to the investors. With cultural similarities and close proximity, the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka could well be the investment 'hot spot' for Indian Investors.
The investment sectors which are high in potential in the Eastern Province, such as Agriculture, Tourism, Livestock, Fisheries, Technical Education, Pharmaceutical, Energy Sector, IT & ITES are also the sectors that India having competitive advantages. Therefore, Sri Lanka stands to benefit whilst offering India profitable investment and business outcomes in the long run. The recently concluded "Invest-In-East" 2016 International Investment Promotion Forum in Colombo, which had the highest participation from India, is testimony to the high investor confidence in Indian Investors, which needs to be harnessed.
I sincerely believe that the newly inaugurated India-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ISCCI) will pave the way for greater and deeper economic partnerships between our two nations, taking the bilateral relationships to greater heights.
I wish all endeavors of ISCCI great success.