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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ »  India agrees on fair play, aims to double bilateral trade

India agrees on fair play, aims to double bilateral trade

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Malika1990

Malika1990
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
India is committed to provide special preferential treatment for Sri Lanka ‘without seeking any reciprocity,’ a high ranking Indian politician has told a forum held in Colombo.

“We are following the principle of asymmetry to which we are committed, so that there is special preferential treatment for Sri Lanka without India seeking any reciprocity. I made this abundantly clear. And it is now left to Sri Lankan and Indian businesses to take up this opportunity to take it forward from here,” India’s Minister of Commerce, Anand Sharma was quoted as saying. Minister Sharma was speaking at the India-Sri Lanka CEOs Forum held recently to develop a roadmap to increased cooperation and mutually beneficial economic partnership between the two countries, and saw participation of top business leaders from India and Sri Lanka.

Sharama during his address also stated that India was very keen on entering Sri Lanka’s ports and airport infrastructure building projects.

Also present were Sri Lankan Ministers Rishad Bathiudeen (Industry and Commerce) and Dr. Sarath Amunugama (International Monetary Co-operation), as well as Ashok K. Kantha, High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka.

“We are also committed to building Sri Lanka’s infrastructure in terms of power projects, buildings and railway projects. Indian firms have the resources, tech and experience and we will be happy to work in other sectors, particularly ports,” Sharma noted.

“Our oil companies have their presence in every continent from Shakalin in Russia to Caribbean, Africa, Vietnam, South Americas, with tens of billions of US dollars in investment. Indian corporate entities in the last 10 years have made $120 billion investments outside India in every distant region in the world. We are also keen to expand in Sri Lanka’s hydrocarbon sector too and we have submitted proposals for exploration in Mannar and Cauvery Basins,” he added.

Touching upon the issues pertaining to free movement of people between the two countries for business purposes, Sharma noted that he will discuss them with India’s Foreign Ministry to remove at least some of the difficulties or to create a regime which facilitates the movement of people and working visas for those requiring them.

At the forum, industry leaders and CEOs of both countries were in broad agreement that IndoLanka trade could be doubled to $10 billion by 2105. Sri Lanka’s location astride an ancient trade route in the Indian Ocean makes it of strategic commercial and military interest to the United States, India and China. China has been competing for influence in Sri Lanka with India, traditionally the island’s most important ally.

China has lent Sri Lanka hundreds of millions of dollars to build ports, roads, railways, power plants and a new airport, fuelling speculation China wants military bases on the island, something denied by Sri Lanka.
http://www.dailymirror.lk/business/economy/20914-india-agrees-on-fair-play-aims-to-double-bilateral-trade-.html

K.Haputantri

K.Haputantri
Co-Admin
India offers Lanka preferential treatment, without reciprocity
Overture to conclude CEPA
The Island August 6, 2012, 7:57 pm

The government is circulating a statement made by a top Indian official who attempted to allay any fears Sri Lanka harbours regarding the now abandoned comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) between the two countries.

CEPA is in cold storage after the government was forced to abandon its plans of concluding the framework and inking it amidst successful lobbying against it by a group of industrialists who were not ashamed to use the nationalism card to tarnish those in favour of the agreement. There was similar opposition in India, when an FTA was signed with South Korea.

However, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce quoting a senior Indian minister’s statement made at a closed-door forum in Colombo, said India was not interested in reciprocity, the major concern of those bitterly against CEPA.

India was committed to provide special preferential treatment for Sri Lanka ‘without seeking any reciprocity in return’, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka said quoting top Indian officials.

"We are following the principle of asymmetry to which we are committed so that there is special preferential treatment for Sri Lanka without India seeking any reciprocity. I made this abundantly clear. And it is now left to Sri Lankan and Indian businesses to take up this opportunity and also to take it forward from here," Anand Sharma, the visiting Indian Minister of Commerce, Industry & Textiles, told a recent forum in Colombo.

The forum saw top Sri Lankan business leaders in attendance, both those in favour of CEPA and those against it.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, India’s fifth largest Dollar billionaire of Airtel fame (for Indian biz) and Kulathunga Rajapakse (Chairman, DSI Group – for Lankan side) Co-Chaired the closed door CEOs Forum.

Mittal said: "Both sides concluded that we need to get to the point where we can decisively up the game of investment and bilateral trade between the two countries. As for the issues asked by the Sri Lankan side, first is the overarching fear of continuous trading balance though the trade volumes under the FTA are fairly aligned around $ 500 Mn.

"A large part of the overall trade balance is due to the petroleum products (bill) that costs in two ways -due to direct petroleum imports and/or getting it refined through India and importing it. The real trade imbalance therefore is not as large. Sri Lanka side fears that when the trade volume moves up to $ 10 Bn this trade gap will widen considerably, so, India has to respond to this particular concern.

Describing the idea of comprehensive partnership, Sharma said: "I am very glad that when we engage with Sri Lanka, we engage with a country which we have a relationship not only historic but is unique and special. This is a relationship which we do not have with other countries in our immediate neighbourhood and this is a relationship even Sri Lanka will not have with any other country. There is a healthy respect between the leaders of two countries and a sound understanding. The economic engagement has to be looked well beyond trade. Trade is also linked to manufacturing and job creation but beyond that, the investment and services as well.

"That’s what makes it a comprenehsive partnership. This word has to be understood in the right perspective. When we talk of a comprehensive engagement, irrespective of whether we use (the word) ‘CEPA’ or any other, we are not confining or restricting it to trade. That’s what India has done in recent years with other partner countries at a time when the wisdom of doing that back home was questioned. I had received brickbats in 2009 August when I signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership with South Korea and a week later, the India-ASEAN FTA.

"There were high noise levels coming from some states and I informed the PM that we’ll wait and see for the benefits. We also signed robust agreements with Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. The reason I refer to these agreements is that in our experience, these agreements helped both countries, greater market access given to both countries. In Sri Lanka it is different. The FTA trade is balanced but it is the non-FTA trade that is not balanced. Very frankly, as a big economy, I am sensitive to the concerns of the Sri Lankan side, how we can enhance the imports from Sri Lanka to India! To this end I brought new proposals at the 03 August breakfast meeting, in that the first meeting itself, that we will setup a Manufacturing Special Economic Zone.

"The Manufacturing Special Economic Zone we will set up will be for auto components and engineering goods will link to the auto manufacturing hubs in India and South India so that it is connected and the value chain created becoming part of the production chain. So what is manufactured in Sri Lanka will be exported to India and to (give) access to the Indian market, we are following the principle of asymmetry to which we are committed so that there is special preferential treatment for Sri Lanka without India seeking any reciprocity. I made this abundantly clear. And it is now left to Sri Lankan and Indian businesses to take up this opportunity and also to take it forward from here. The auto component parts built here may not only end up in the cars driven in India but in our cars exported elsewhere too. India now is a major in auto and auto components industry," Sharma said.

K.Haputantri

K.Haputantri
Co-Admin
confused ?Any one who knows the background to this sudden shift of policy by India.

wiki


Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
@K.Haputantri wrote: confused ?Any one who knows the background to this sudden shift of policy by India.

They wanna grab the North while China grabbing the South

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