India today rejected allegations raised on some proposed projects and deals with Sri Lanka including the proposed Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA.
Speaking at the 9th Annual General Meeting of the Indo-Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Colombo today, the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu said that certain sections, who may not be very well informed, unfortunately, have been trying to portray, that Sri Lankan interests would be harmed, when some of the projects, take off.
“Nothing could be further, from truth. These are, JOINT projects. These projects bring huge investments, and valuable foreign exchange, for Sri Lanka. They create several thousands, of direct and indirect jobs. These projects, only bring benefits, to Sri Lanka. You are, practical and pragmatic. We would like you to project, the right message, in your interactions,” he said.
He said that when India and Sri Lanka, entered into an FTA in 2000, it was a first, for both countries. Total bilateral trade has increased 8 times since then.
“Share of FTA items in Sri Lanka’s exports to India increased from 16% in 2000 to more than 65% in recent years. Majority of Sri Lanka’s exports to India are through FTA. On the other hand, share of FTA items in India’s exports to Sri Lanka increased from 9% in 2000 to just 13% in recent years. Majority of India’s exports to Sri Lanka are outside the FTA. The facts and figures show FTA has indeed, been beneficial to Sri Lanka,” he said.
The High Commissioner said that there are several Sri Lankan companies, who have crafted their own success stories, by becoming part of global supply, and value chains.
“We need to create, more such stories. We have been working, towards expanding the contours, of the FTA to cover, investments and services. The proposed Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) is in mutual interest. However, I would like to reiterate that we are ready to move at a pace Sri Lanka is comfortable with,” he said.
He says India is ready to partner Sri Lanka, in its important journey of development, and share experience, expertise and technology. (Colombo Gazette)