Daily News, Sri Lanka
1 September 2004
South Indian business delegation calls on Minister Kadirgamar
A delegation of members of the Southern Region Office of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) representing a variety of business enterprises called on Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar at the Ministry of Foreign affairs on August 31. They were accompanied by Mahen Dayananda, Vice Chairperson of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Ms Iomie Wijesekera.
A discussion took place about ways and means of facilitating interaction between the South Indian business community, in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Pondicherry and Tamilnadu with Sri Lankan businesses and relevant government agencies. The Minister emphasized the importance of making full use of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and Sri Lanka and the forthcoming Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to the mutual benefit of both countries.
The delegation expressed their satisfaction at the working of the FTA and welcomed closer cooperation with Sri Lankan business with a view to increasing trade between the two countries using Sri Lanka as a base for exports to the Indian sub-continent and elsewhere through a process of value addition.
It was noted that the natural and historical trade links and institutional linkages between South India and sri Lanka should, in the modern era, be rapidly developed especially since the number of flights between South India and Sri Lanka have recently been greatly increased.
In this connection Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar indicated that the office of the Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai is playing a substantial role in developing the necessary connections and facilitating interaction between the Southern Indian business community and their counterparts in Sri Lanka.