New opportunities for Sri Lankan companies in India

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Oct 17, 2016 (LBO) – There are new opportunities for Sri Lankan companies in India, with several internal changes going on in the country, an official of a visiting Indian business delegation said.

“Within India, there are so many economic changes that could be advantageous for Sri Lanka. What is important is that this is also a new opening for Lankan industries and SMEs,” said Shreekant Somany, governing council member of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in Colombo.

A CII delegation held discussions with Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen and ministry officials earlier this month. Somany is also the Managing Director of Somany Ceramics Ltd, one of the top five tile firms in India.

Keen to spur the economy, India has been reducing non-tariff barriers and barriers to trade with its neighbors in recent years.

“There is new interest and vigour in India with regard to Sri Lanka. The devolution of funds going to Indian states from the centre which was only two percent before has increased to more than 40 percent of tax collected by the centre now sent to states,” he said.

“There is new competition among federal states to access these, which opens door for Lankan companies to engage with Indian states in a new platform in trade and investment.”

Among the Indian corporates in the delegation were the Indian process efficiency and energy conservation giant Forbes Marshall Limited, infrastructure construction and project management multinational IL&FS Engineering and Construction, the road and highway surfacing giant Elsamex SA, and sectoral leaders such as Taylor Rubber Ltd.

The Indian industry and biz-led, not-for-profit CII has more than 8,000 members from Indian multinationals, corporates and SMEs and is a leading policy influencer and reference point on overall Indian SMEs, multinationals and industry.

It has additional 200,000 member firms as well. CII is present in nine overseas destinations-China, Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, France, Germany, Singapore, UK, and USA. CII also has institutional partnerships with 320 counterpart organizations in 106 countries.