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Diplomats keen on strengthening trade ties

Apr '08
Addressing the fourth annual management conference of Colombo University MBA Alumni Association last week, Alok Prasad, the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, stressed on the need to develop a closer tie between the two countries to put up a combined resistance against economic challenges and the impact of globalization.

The Indian High Commissioner also opined that unfavorable factors must not mire the inclination of the countries to promote people to people interaction and free flow of information. He further emphasized on the need to establish a powerful block like the EU to manage economic affairs in South Asian region.

Mr Alok Prasad seemed overwhelmed when he stated that since the time of the initiation of Free Trade Agreement, exports from Sri Lanka to India increased by nearly nine times while exports from the latter tripled.

Sri Lankan exports to India increased from US $489 in 2006 to $514.9 in 2007. Infact, since 2003, India has emerged as the third largest export market for the country after USA and UK and accounted for 7.2 percent of Sri Lanka's total exports to the world in 2006.

On the other hand, imports from India also reflected an increase from $1822.070 million in 1999 to $2744.3 million in 2007. So much so that, imports from India as a percentage of its total imports from the world increased remarkably from 10 percent in 1999 to 24 percent in 2007.

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