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Sri Lanka and India are working towards signing an Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), and discussions are on for the purpose, a top Sri Lankan official said.

“For example, we are good at garments. We have good knowledge (on the subject) and we are good at technical skills. India has both technical and scientific advantages. For that, we want to formalise an agreement,” Vadivel Krishnamoorthy, Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Chennai, said on the sidelines of a conference.

He was speaking at a seminar on business opportunities organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (SLEDB).

Mr. Krishnamoorthy said there was a huge potential for both countries to exploit the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which was implemented in March 2000. “Its capacity is very high that what it seems to be. Our present task is to explore this huge potential and should be investigated with the assistance of the business community,” he said. Pointing out that India has become the number one supplier to the island nation overtaking countries such a Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and China, the Deputy High Commissioner said.

“Sri Lankan exports to India have also increased substantially, from $35.3 million in 1999 to $643 million in 2015”. The total trade between the two countries had risen to $4.9 billion in December 2015 from just $56 million in 1991. “I am confident that it will cross $6 billion this year,” he said. (The Hindu)