Brilliant decisions catapulted India's economic growth: Lanka

"The country needs to take a cue from the statistical input and brilliant decision making process in India," Finance and Planning Deputy Minister Sarath Amunugama said.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa holds the key portfolio of Finance.

"India followed a reform agenda and has progressed much. The new thinking in India should be attractive to Sri Lanka," Amunugama who is also the senior Presidential Adviser told a business meeting here.

Trade relations between Sri Lanka and India has grown rapidly since 1990 as a result of the implementation of the Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ILFTA), he said.

Amunugama who was speaking at a conference on Monday said the world had changed and Sri Lanka also needed to change accordingly.

The two-day conference on the India-Sri Lanka free trade agreement; achievements, challenges and the road ahead was jointly organized by several trade bodies.

It was co-hosted  by the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, Centre for WTO Studies, Indo-Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the India Sri Lanka Joint Business Council.

Speakers at the conference observed that Sri Lanka was presented with an ideal situation now.

With India and China heading towards being the leading world economies that will make South Asia a global hot spot, it is important to develop incredible synergies to exploit the situation, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman Anura Ekanayake said on the occasion.

"The agreement (ILFTA) could be a platform for much wider relationship as Sri Lanka is highly dependent on trade," the state run Daily News quoted Ekanayake as saying.

Though, there have been teething problems and trade disputes, it is important to assess the progress of ILFTA analysing the positive and the negatives and take stock of how the Agreement should progress in the next decade.

Exports from Sri Lanka to India has increased significantly from USD 58 million in 2000 to USD 418.3 million in 2008.

Similarly, the exports from India to Sri Lanka have also accelerated from USD 600.1 million to USD 3,443 million from 2000 to 2008.

The product base of Sri Lanka diversified largely during this time. By 2008, other than the traditional primary products such as pepper, waste and scrap steel, arecanuts, dried fruit and cloves and several value added products were among the top exports from Sri Lanka to India.

This included items such as insulated wires and cables, pneumatic tyres, ceramics, vegetable fats and oils, refined copper products, apparel, pharmaceutical products and furniture, the newspaper said.

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