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India, Sri Lanka likely to ink new trade deal in 2010

Economic Times, India

India, Sri Lanka likely to ink new trade deal in 2010

14 September 2009

NEW DELHI: India and Sri Lanka are expected to sign a new economic agreement next year covering both goods and services, said the island nation’s Minister of Investment Promotion Navin Dissanayake.

Discussions are expected to iron out differences, paving the way for the signing of an expanded Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement before 2011, said the visiting Sri Lankan minister.

He, however, noted that Sri Lankan business groups were worried over Indian dominance in the services sector.

At a seminar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry here, Dissanayake made a strong pitch for Indian industry to come to the island nation, which is recovering after the end of a decades old civil war.

"It is profitable in your own self-interest to invest in Sri Lanka."

He noted that the global recession had left China and India relatively unscathed, but still the effects continued to linger.

"It is even more difficult for me to make this appeal to you in such circumstances. That’s why I decided to talk to your sense of business entrepreneurship; to your sense of business adventure coupled with self-interest," said Dissanayake.

Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India CR Jayasinghe said due to the free trade agreement signed between the
countries, bilateral trade volume had gone up from $600 million to $3.2 billion last year.