Reposted from Reuters
By Shihar Aneez
India’s trade minister on Friday said a special economic zone is planned for Sri Lanka’s eastern port city of Trincomalee as part of an effort to double bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2015.
Anand Sharma also said other investments in Sri Lanka were planned to help reach the goal. India accounted for just 4.9 percent of Sri Lanka’s total exports in 2011, led by machinery and equipment, animal fodder, spices and garments. Trade between the two countries was worth $4.8 billion in 2011.
“We see the present engagement is well below the potential. Therefore we have set a target of doubling (the trade) to $10 billion by 2015,” Sharma told reporters in Colombo after launching an Indian trade show.
Around 120 Indian companies including Indian Oil Corp. , Ashok Leyland, and Bharti Airtel operate in Sri Lanka.
The United States and Europe account for 60 percent of Sri Lankan exports. On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund urged Sri Lanka to focus more on sales to India and China to boost exports and support economic growth.
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