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Sunday, 29 January 2012

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Bilateral trade between India and Sri Lanka to hit $ 4b

Sri Lanka has strong bilateral relationship with India for several decades. Both countries have religious, political, cultural, educational and trade ties for several hundred years, said Industries and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. He was speaking at a business forum meeting in India.

The Minister said that the free trade agreement between the two counties was a milestone. Bilateral trade between the two countries amounted to $ 650 million in 2000 and it exceeded $ 3 billion in 2010. It would go up to $ four billion soon.

The Industries and Commerce Minister said that India has become one of the main investors who invest in Sri Lanka.

He said that statistics shows that 250,000 Sri Lankans visited India in 2010.

Record-wise India is the first country that sent the most number of tourists to Sri Lanka. 138,000 tourists arrived in Sri Lanka in 2011 between January to October.

It shows a 45 percent increase when compared to the previous year.

The Minister said that Sri Lankans give priority to India for purchase and medical treatment abroad. Over 100 flight services take place between Colombo and the main cities in India. SriLankan added its fourth flight to the fleet to serve between Colombo and Chennai.

Minister Bathiudeen said that Sri Lanka has achieved social and economic development. "Sri Lanka recorded positive growth of 8.4 percent in 2011", he said.

 

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