New Delhi, Nov 28 : Extending a warm welcome to Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajpaksa, India's apex industry chamber, on Thursday, said the visit can leverage huge geo-cultural commonalities between the two nations.
In a statement, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry president B K Goenka averred that given the advantages of proximity of the island nation with India and cultural, historic relations between the people of the two countries, "we can significantly increase our bilateral trade from the present level of about USD 7 billion (1 dollar=Rs 71). Besides, mutual investment can also flourish in a number of areas, including ports, airports, highways, metro rails, telecommunication, petroleum products and hydel power.' He said as the large global economies are becoming more and more protectionist, 'it is time the neighbouring countries enhance their economic engagement and take mutual advantage of a vast market, tapping the resources of South Asia.'
Assocham, Mr Goenka stated, would be keen to work with the new government in Sri Lanka, in close cooperation and support of New Delhi to give a further push to the bilateral economic engagement.
With a vast Metro Rail network under implementation in more than 30 cities, New Delhi has gained expertise in urban rail projects, which can be offered to Sri Lanka. Colombo and other regions can leverage Indian expertise in Metro rail while its large construction firms can further strengthen their presence in the neighbouring countries, Mr Goenka said.
Similarly, he said, the Indian gems and jewellery sector can leverage Sri Lanka's enviable treasure of precious stones for third country exports. Likewise, a great scope exists for mutual engagement in textile value-added products, marine products, processed foods along with logistics. Some Indian retail giants, Mr Goenka added, can also look forward to opening stores in Lankan cities, keeping in view the similarities in tastes and choices of consumers of the two nations. (UNI)