The hubs will supply components to Indian firms

India will set up two manufacturing hubs in Sri Lanka. They will act as supply chains to companies in India.

Meanwhile, both the countries have decided to double bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2015-16 from $4.8 billion now. They have also agreed not to focus narrowly on trade but also include investment.

India show

Inaugurating ‘The India Show – Land of Limitless Opportunities’ here, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said, “India and Sri Lanka have agreed to set up Manufacturing Special Economic Zones for investment linked to manufacturing auto components and engineering goods. We will also set up a pharma manufacturing hub in the island nation.”

The manufacturing hub will be set up in Trincomalee which is known for its natural deep water harbour. This harbour provides access to all kinds of ships throughout the year, helping the transportation of goods to auto manufacturing units based in South India.

The location for the pharma hub is yet to be identified. The joint task force will decide on this issue. The task force will have officials and industrial representatives from both the countries.

Later in a press conference, Sharma clarified that India was not seeking incentives for the two hubs.

“The Sri Lankan Government will help in getting land which will be an incentive in itself. Secondly, what will be made here will go into the production chain in India.”

Preferential access

He also announced giving preferential access to Sri Lanka to the Indian market. The manufacturing hubs will help in value added exports to India.

“However, We are not seeking reciprocity. We will ensure that whatever Sri Lanka exports to India, comes in without any difficulty,” he added.

The India show is the third of its kind in the island nation to showcase the Indian market and goods. Industry chamber CII has organised it in association with the Government.

Decision on retail FDI at ‘appropriate time’

Commerce and Industries Minister Anand Sharma said that the decision on allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi brand retail will be taken at the “appropriate time.” Addressing a press conference here, Sharma said, “An in principle decision has been taken...... Some political parties are opposing because of their ideology, but some of them are opposing purely for political reasons as they oppose UPA.”

He claimed that a large number of political parties and States are in favour of FDI in multi brand retail.

Shishir.sinha@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 3, 2012)
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