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“However, SL is most famous among Indian tourists purely for casinos and other forms of entertainment”

By Hiran H. Senewiratne

The Lankan authorities plan to promote South Indian investment in Sri Lanka in sectors such as trade, tourism, education and South Indian culture. But currently, Sri Lanka is only famous for its casinos and other forms of entertainment among Indian tourists, said Sri Lanka’s Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, Dr. D. Venkateshwaran.

“We are now seeking to promote and attract industrialists from South India to Sri Lanka in different areas of investment including automotive accessories, pharmaceuticals, food and agriculture sectors with the specific aim of to use Sri Lanka as a center of added value, also targeting the use of free trade agreements signed by Sri Lanka, said Deputy High Commissioner Dr.D.Venkateshwaran The financial magazine of the island.

Venkateshwaran added, “Sri Lanka has signed free trade agreements with India, Pakistan and Singapore and is currently negotiating an FTA with the PRC. FTAs with India and Pakistan only cover trade in goods. The agreements provide duty-free entry as well as tariff preferences for manufactured and agricultural products.

“I am in the process of negotiating and discussing with large industrialists from South India to come and open cement factories, electric car factories, sugar factories and mining factories in Sri Lanka.

“At present, 14 flights are connected and we plan to promote more low cost airlines, especially to Ratmalana airport, to attract more tourists and industrialists from South India to Sri. Lanka.

“Sri Lanka has enormous potential to promote itself as a major tourist destination among South Indian tourists due to historical and cultural ties. However, unfortunately, travel agents only take them to Kandy and Katharagama.

“My diplomatic jurisdiction covers states such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Karnataka and Pondicherry which have a population of 300 million. And the purchasing power of these people is very high with the rapid growth in the southern region of India, especially in Chennai.

“Sri Lanka has a lot to offer tourists from South India, especially the Ramayana trail, and Chilaw is one of the popular and important places related to Ramayana in Sri Lanka, as it is home to the famous Munneswaram and Manavari temples. . These two temples are the main places related to Ramayana that can be promoted as part of Sri Lanka Ramayana Tour.

“India, being a highly technologically developed country, its agricultural and technological know-how can be transferred to Sri Lanka. At present, I am discussing with the largest agricultural organization in South India to train Sri Lankan agricultural staff and bring quality seeds to Sri Lanka for distribution to local farmers.

“A road show will be organized for investors from South India to promote the port city as well. I plan to discuss with an Indian university to set up one of its campuses in Sri Lanka. said the Sri Lankan deputy high commissioner.

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