Removal of non-tariff barriers is one of the key areas that India must focus on to improve trade with Sri Lanka, said Vadivel Krishnamoorthy, Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Southern India, here on Friday.

Speaking at a meeting organised by the Andhra Chamber of Commerce with a business delegation from the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka, Mr. Krishnamoorthy said regular consultations at senior official-level, harmonising and simplifying Customs procedures at both the ends, efficient verification of certificates of origin-related matters and giving priority to the products under India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, were some of the other areas which needed to be focussed on. Talking about the trade relations between the two countries, Mr. Krishnamoorthy said India emerged as the fourth largest export market for Sri Lanka in 2008. During the same year India accounted for 20.8 per cent of Sri Lanka's total imports from world and India was the number one supplier to the island, he pointed out.

Airport, port, telecommunications, power, health care, education, hotels/leisure facilities and residential apartments were some of the areas in which the Indian businessmen could invest, he said.

Explaining about the business environment Mr. Krishnamoorthy said that his country offered total foreign ownership, no restriction on repatriation of earnings. Safety of foreign investments was guaranteed by the Constitution and commercial laws were based on the British laws, he added.

Political stability

Later speaking at a meeting organised by the India-ASEAN-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Krishnamoorthy said that at present the country had political stability and a peaceful environment.

Both the north and eastern provinces were under developed till recently. Now efforts were on to take up development works. The business community in India could look for opportunities in processing agricultural products, dairy farming, fisheries, aquaculture and tourism, he added.

Speaking at the meeting S. Sarath Chandra De Silva, leader of the Mission, said technological support was needed in areas such as agriculture and Information technology. Every logistic is in place in the country, he added.