Mihin Lanka, Sri Lanka’s national low-cost carrier flew the Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industries (TCCI) delegation from Madurai to Sri Lanka. The purpose of their visit was to partake in the Northern and Eastern Investment Promotions, hold a series of meetings and attend the Jaffna Trade Fair. These meetings will play a pivotal role in strengthening bilateral trade ties and business connections between the business communities of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.

The 44-member delegation is led by Senior President S. Rethinavelu and N. Jegatheesan, President of the Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industries. With the North and East lagging behind the rest of the country in terms of economic development due to the 30-year civil war, this trade fair and series of meetings will help unveil the business potential in these regions. The Chief Ministers of the North and East, C. V. Wigneswaran and Z.A. Nazeer Ahamed have both expressed their support of this initiative.

The group of 44 delegates from TCCI is the largest such group to attend this meeting.

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe has announced that Sri Lanka is set to enter into free trade agreements with many countries, thus setting the stage for foreign investments to come in to the country. The meeting between representatives from the North and East with the delegates from TCCI will help spearhead this initiative and encourage investments to the respective regions.

Bilateral trade between India and Sri Lanka is worth over USD 7 billion, more than half of which comes from Tamil Nadu. The meeting between delegates of TCCI and Sri Lankan representatives will explore ways of encouraging more investments and business agreements between the two countries.

At the Jaffna Trade Fair, the TCCI is to meet with the Jaffna Chamber of Commerce and set up the former’s own executive committee. This ground-breaking meeting will be attended by C. V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council as Chief Guest.

It must be noted that the TCCI played an integral role in facilitating the introduction of Mihin Lanka flights to Madurai. Starting from just three flights per week, Mihin Lanka operates flights through all seven days at present. Commenting on this, S. Rethinavelu, Senior President, the Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industries said, “There is a lot of potential for Mihin Lanka and I think they ought to introduce two flights per day to Madurai.” He further added, “Although the flight was just 45 minutes, the service on board was fantastic”.

Mihin Lanka’s operation to Madurai has seen a surge during the recent past due to heavy demand for safe, comfortable flights within budget. This demand was partly attributable to the increase in passengers from and to Madurai and in part to increase in traffic from Madurai to the Middle East and Far East via Sri Lanka. This pattern is expected to continue in the future as well and Mihin Lanka is currently in the process of increasing the number of flights yet again.