India has outlined extensive investment potential in Sri Lanka centered on infrastructure, tourism and pharmaceuticals to double trade to 10 billion U.S. dollars by 2017, an Indian top official said here on Friday.
Indian Commerce, Industry and Textiles Minister Anand Sharma, who is on a three-day visit to the country, told a press conference that the two countries have agreed to establish a task force that will consider investment opportunities and present them to the Indian government within 90 days.
He said that India would be the principal investors in a Manufacturing Investment Zone to be established in Trincomalee, a town on the eastern part of Sri Lanka that was once a conflict zone.
The zone would concentrate mainly on engineering and manufacture of auto parts for India's thriving automobile industry.
"We are also interested in investing in the pharmaceutical sector in Sri Lanka and there will be an industry delegation arriving in Sri Lanka within the next 30 days," said Sharma, adding that India was focused on diversifying investment to the island nation.
Sharma heads a high powered business delegation comprising representatives of 105 companies that also hold an exhibition in the capital city of Sri Lanka.
Following discussions with Sri Lanka's commerce minister, the two sides agreed to re-commence negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) that have stalled since 2008.