Sri Lanka wants India to remove obstacles to trade and investment from the island nation.

At a meeting of the India-Sri Lanka Chief Executive Officers Forum held here on Saturday, Sri Lanka made a request in the backdrop of the two Governments envisaging a doubling of trade within the next three years. The move is also likely to reduce the trade imbalance between India and Sri Lanka that is heavily in New Delhi’s favour.

The CEOs felt there was immense opportunity in the apparel sector for both sides to increase their market share in the world. Also, Sri Lanka sought further relaxation of the rules of origin and quota for apparel in India.

Rubber products are another area where both sides could explore joint ventures, particularly supply of rubber components to India from Lanka.

The meeting also saw potential for Sri Lanka to export power to India during off-peak hours and vice-versa. It called for expediting the implementation of the undersea transmission linkages so that surplus power could be exported to India. Such a move will also help bring down the trade deficit between the two countries.

The CEOs also emphasised the importance of a flexible visa regime between India and Sri Lanka.

(This article was published on August 5, 2012)
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