Need to remove bilateral trade barriers, Sri Lanka tells India

India-Sri Lankan bilateral trade has potential to more than double to $ 10 billion by 2016 if tariff and non tariff barriers are removed, said Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Prasad Kariyawasam said at a PHD Chamber function in New Delhi.

“Our target is that by 2016, the bilateral trade should be able to touch $ 10 billion . . . . But for this, we need to liberalise tariff regimes on both the sides,” Kariyawasam said.

“There are non-tariff barriers on the Indian side and few tariff barriers on the Sri Lankan side. So, such things have to be ironed out in such a manner that the trade becomes more balanced between the two countries,” he added on the sidelines of the event here.

He pointed out that there is a need for mutual liberalised tariff regime. In 2012, the two-way trade between the two nations stood USD 4 billion, which has declined as compared to the previous year.

He further added that both sides are talking to each other on balancing the trade activity in the long-term.

India’s exports to Sri Lanka include auto parts, cereals, agriculture items and paper products,  while imports from Sri Lanka are garments and spices.

Besides, Kariyawasam said, there is more room for Indian investments in Sri Lanka in a number of sectors such as infrastructure, tourism and services.

“We have a vibrant and brilliant economic partnership. Indian companies can use Sri Lanka as a launching pad for reaching to Asian and African nations,” he added. (SME Times)