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India - Sri Lanka FTA to be expanded to include services and investment: Sri Lankan Prime Minister

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Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of stated that his government and the Government of were working to expand the - Free Trade Agreement to include services and investment as well.

He added that the Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) which has been under negotiation between the two countries should be concluded by the end of the year.

He stated that as these agreements come into force, would have access to not just the Sri Lankan market but also to markets in Singapore, Japan and China among others as was in the process of negotiating Free Trade Agreements with several countries.

In addition, he invited Indian companies to invest in especially in areas such as infrastructure development including ports, airports and power, digital infrastructure, agriculture and fisheries and skilling among others. He stated that the aim of his government was to convert into a Logistic, Finance and Business hub of South Asia.

Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (IC) for Commerce and Industry, Government of India, the reforms being undertaken by is making it a more attractive place for companies to do business.

The Minister highlighted three major reform measures undertaken by the Government in the recent past which has helped improve the India's competitiveness in the world. These include the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which she stated would integrate 800 transactions onto a single platform.

The second major initiative she highlighted was that of JAM or Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhar and Mobile. This initiative ensures financial inclusion of those who are unbanked, direct transfer of benefits to recipients and connectivity.

The third initiative she highlighted were the various measures that the Government was taking to improve the Ease of Doing Business in the Country. The Minister mentioned that the states have adopted this initiative and are working to improve processes and regulations to help improve the ease of doing business in the country.

Prof. Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman, World Economic forum stated that according to the WEF's Global Competitiveness Index, was now one of the 40 most competitive economies in the world thanks to the reform measures that had been undertaken.

Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, stated that the measures taken by the Government had helped improve the ease of doing business in the country.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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