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Sri Lanka eager to share ‘Make in India’ avenues

Fourth round of Commerce Secretary-level talks to begin in New Delhi today

Sri Lanka is eager to share the opportunities created by major government plans such as Make in India and Digital India.

Sri Lankan sources told The Hindu on Sunday that finding space for Sri Lankan entrepreneurs in major Indian industrial schemes will be a key issue during the fourth round of the Commerce Secretary-level talks planned on December 21.

“Make in India will create a chain of production and major research and development opportunities, some of which can be shared by Sri Lanka as we have the required manpower and infrastructure in place,” a Sri Lankan source told The Hindu on the eve of the talks in New Delhi.

The source also said that Sri Lanka would push for conclusion of ETCA (Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement), which is more focused on increasing the Sri Lankan share in Indian opportunities. An agreement on ETCA will be a major achievement in enhancing bilateral economic ties.

Economic cooperation between India and Sri Lanka has been more focused in recent months on the negotiation for CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) which was pushed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his March visit to Colombo. But his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe categorically opposed CEPA recently in the Sri Lankan Parliament. “CEPA is being viewed as an Indian attempt to flood Sri Lankan markets with Indian products. But we want to find a middle way in this negotiation without compromising on Sri Lankan economic strengths,” former diplomat and prominent columnist Kalyanand Godage told The Hindu.

The Sri Lankan side is, however, concerned over the proposed bridge over the Palk Strait that was mentioned by Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari in Parliament. “Mr. Gadkari’s campaign for the bridge connecting Thalaimannar in Sri Lanka and Rameswaram in India is perceived as another attempt to open up our market to India and has drawn criticism from Mr.Wickremesinghe for not being transparent on this issue with the people,” Mr.Godage said.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 1:12:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sri-lanka-eager-to-share-make-in-india-avenues/article8011147.ece

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