Several South Indian companies are keen to set up joint ventures in Sri Lanka to “add value” 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 land area and 20% of Indian population and has the second highest GDP of US$946 billion and is the second most industrialized state in the country after the Maharashtra with several global players investing.

In an interview with ‘Daily News Business’, he said that Chennai accounts for about 35% of all India’s auto components and auto production and several of them are keen to invest in Sri Lanka for manufacturing. automotive components. In addition, sugar, pharmaceutical and cement manufacturing companies also want to invest in Sri Lanka and are looking for partners in Sri Lanka. “All of these companies are planning to manufacture in Sri Lanka through joint ventures and re-export to the region taking advantage of several bilateral agreements.”

He said they and Sri Lankan Ambassador Milinda Moragoda were pursuing these opportunities and several others like them.

The Sri Lankan agricultural sector could also derive productive benefits from Indian researchers and I link some of them to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Agriculture.

The Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, Dr Venkateshwaran, said the tourism potential between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka is still underutilized. Many people visit Sri Lanka for the weekend for entertainment and Sri Lankan tourism authorities should try to recruit families for these tours and offer them two to three day packages to travel and stay in remote hotels .

Similarly, the local Ramayana trail and Indian cultural and religious landmarks in Jaffna, Nuwara Eliya and Trincomalee should also be promoted more aggressively.

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Chennai, Ratmalana flights on the maps

A leading Indian low-cost airline is currently planning to launch direct flights from Chennai to Ratmalana, the Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, has said.

He said the airline, which has a very strong domestic route network in India and flies to several international destinations, is planning a thrice-weekly flight to Sri Lanka’s premier 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 offering duty-free shopping for tourists is also expected to attract a huge customer base from neighboring countries, especially India, as the huge mall will be even bigger than Mustafa Complex in Singapore, which is a destination favorite of Indian tourists.

The Indian low-cost airline also took this factor into consideration along with the attractive “offers” at Ratmalana Airport for foreign airlines. Creating a historic landmark in Sri Lankan aviation history, Sri Lanka’s first international airport, Ratmalana (Colombo International Airport), launched direct flights to the Maldives from March 27 with the carrier – national flag, Maldivian Airlines. The airline has temporarily halted services to Ratmalana International Airport and would resume operations after Ramadan.