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Sri Lanka to enter into economic agreement with India
07
Oct '16
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (centre) with his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (centre) with his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe
The Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) between India and Sri Lanka will be signed by the end of this year, said Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. He also stated that the governments of the two countries were working to expand the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement to include services and investment as well.

The ETCA is expected to promote growth of up to $500 billion within the sub-regional economy. It will also help Sri Lanka get wider access to the rapidly growing Indian market.

The announcement to sign the ETCA, which has been under negotiation for some time now, was made by Wickremesinghe at the Inaugural Plenary at the India Economic Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) in New Delhi.

Sri Lanka was in the process of negotiating Free Trade Agreements with several countries. India would have access to not just the Sri Lankan market but also to markets in Singapore, Japan and China among others after these agreements come into force.

The Sri Lankan Prime Minister also invited Indian companies to invest in various sectors in his country as he aims to convert it into a logistic, finance and business hub of South Asia.

“The reforms being undertaken by India is making it a more attractive place for companies to do business,” said Nirmala Sitharaman, minister of state for commerce and industry.

Sitharaman highlighted the measures undertaken by the Indian government in the recent past to help improve the country’s competitiveness in the world. These include the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which would integrate 800 transactions onto a single platform and Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhar and Mobile which ensures financial inclusion of those who are unbanked.

She said that the government was adopting measures to improve processes and regulations to help improve the ease of doing business in the country. Sitharaman also stated that Indian states are working with the Central government to achieve a growth of 8 per cent.

“According to the WEF’s Global Competitiveness Index, India is now one of the 40 most competitive economies in the world thanks to the reform measures that had been undertaken,” said professor Klaus Schwab, executive chairman, WEF.

“The measures taken by the government have helped improve the ease of doing business in the country,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, CII. (KD)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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