July 15, 2013, 8:52 pm
As bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and India topped US$ 4 billion, India is moving in an unprecedented manner to strengthen its trade linkages with Sri Lanka– in no less than at Business to Business (B2B) levels, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said in press communiqué yesterday.
"The ‘Industrial India Trade Fair’ series in Kolkata is the only such large scale international event in North Eastern India, if not in the whole of India. We have also nominated Sri Lanka as our ‘partner country’ in the forthcoming 26th Industrial India Trade Fair in which more than 12 countries, including Japan, are scheduled to take part," revealed Dibyendu Basu, the visiting Senior Vice President and the Leader of the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce & Industry on 15 July in Colombo.
Visiting Senior VP Basu was addressing Minister Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry & Commerce) at his 17 member strong delegation’s courtesy call made on Bathiudeen on 15 July. Visiting Senior VP Basu is currently on an eight day-long, in-depth trade mission to Colombo. Senior VP Basu’s Bengal National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BNCCI) is India’s oldest and first ever indigenous Chamber in India. The 126 years long BNCCI is an ISO 9001:2008 certified Chamber having such Indian and International ‘power brands’ as its members-including Dunlop India, India Steamship, Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Castrol India, Hyatt Regency Kolkata, Berger Paints India, Indian Institute of Management (Calcutta), and Birla Tyres.
"We are impressed with Sri Lanka’s improvement in its new stage. Though we know Sri Lanka well, we believe it is time that Sri Lanka be well known in Eastern and Far Eastern Asia too. Your industrial, tourism and even Ayurveda potentials should be made known to the Eastern parts of the world. In this light, we invite Sri Lanka to the 2013 ‘Industrial India Trade Fair’ series in Kolkata to be held in coming December. This series in Kolkata is the only such large scale international event in North Eastern India, if not in the whole of India! We have also nominated Sri Lanka as our ‘partner country’ in the forthcoming 26th Industrial India Trade Fair in which more than 12 countries, including Japan, are scheduled to take part. The forthcoming Fair focuses on SME industries and machinery & technology as well," said Visiting Senior VP Basu.
According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, bilateral trade between both countries totalled $ 4.087 B in 2012 and in January-April 2013 period alone, stood at $ 1.17 B. During 2008, India allowed duty free entry for 3 million pieces of apparel products from Sri Lanka without any restrictions under ISFTA and in April 2013, the quota was increased to 8 million pieces.