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South Indian firms keen to set up JVs in SL

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To ‘value add’ and re-export to region
Dr. D. Venkateshwaran

Several South Indian companies are keen to set up joint ventures in Sri Lanka to ‘value add’ and re-export to the region, said Sri Lanka’s Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, Dr. D. Venkateshwaran.

Chennai has several surrounding states comprising 19.31% of India’s area and 20% of India’s population and has the second-highest GDP of US$ 946 billion and is the second-most industrialized state in the country after Maharashtra with several global players investing.

In an interview with ‘Daily News Business’ he said that Chennai accounts for about 35% of India’s overall automotive components and automobile output and several of them are keen on investing in Sri Lanka for automotive component manufacturing. In addition sugar, pharmaceutical and cement manufacturing companies too are keen to invest in Sri Lanka and they are looking at partners in Sri Lanka. “All these companies are looking at manufacturing in Sri Lanka via joint ventures and re-exporting to the region taking advantage of several bilateral agreements.”

He said that they and the Sri Lankan Ambassador Milinda Moragoda are pursuing these and several other similar opportunities.

The Sri Lanka agri sector too could reap productive benefits from the Indian researchers and I am linking some of them with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Agriculture.

Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, Dr. Venkateshwaran said that the tourism potential between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka is still underutilized. There are many individuals who fly to Sri Lanka for the weekend for entertainment and Sri Lankan tourism authorities should try to rope in families for these visits and provide them two to three day packages to travel and stay at outstation hotels.

Similarly local Ramayana trail and Indian cultural and religious places of interest in Jaffna, Nuwara Eliya and Trincomalee too should be promoted more aggressively.


Chennai, Ratmalana flights on the cards

A leading budget Indian airline is currently looking at launching direct flights from Chennai to Ratmalana, said Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, Dr. D. Venkateshwaran.

He said that the airline which has a very strong domestic route network in India and flying to several international destinations is looking at a thrice weekly flight to Sri Lanka’s first airport Ratmalana from September 2022. .

Meanwhile, Colombo Port City has announced the opening of South Asia’s first Downtown Duty-Free (DF) Mall, in August this year. The proposed Downtown Duty-Free offering duty free shopping to tourists is also expected to attract a huge clientele from neighboring countries especially India as the huge mall will be even bigger than the Mustafa Complex in Singapore which is a preferred destination for Indian tourists.

The Indian budget airline has also taken this factor into consideration and also the attractive ‘offers’ at Ratmalana airport for foreign airlines. Creating a historic landmark in Sri Lanka aviation history, Sri Lanka’s first international airport Ratmalana (Colombo International Airport) commenced direct flights to the Maldives commencing from March 27 with National flag-carrier, Maldivian Airlines. The airline has temporarily halted services to Ratmalana International Airport and would resume operations after Ramadan.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022 – 01:00

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