Colombo (LNW): The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) advocated for a new economic model that emphasises export-led investment and tourism, as well as promoting the private sector’s role as an engine of growth to establish a sustainable business environment.
This proposal was made during the India-Sri Lanka Business Summit in Colombo, attended by key figures, including Sri Lankan Premier Dinesh Gunawardena, India’s Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman, and others.
While acknowledging India’s support during Sri Lanka’s financial crisis last year, the Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Duminda Hulangamuwa, stressed that Sri Lanka should not overly rely on bilateral support from regional countries.
He emphasised the importance of an export-led investment approach to ensure economic growth and stability, highlighting the potential for increased trade with India, especially as the world’s economic focus shifts towards South Asia.
Sitharaman expressed enthusiasm for strengthening bilateral relations and urged Sri Lanka to explore new avenues for economic sustainability and growth, highlighting the energy and pharmaceutical sectors as high-growth potential areas.
She also emphasised the role of digitalisation in India’s economic landscape and encouraged Sri Lanka to embrace digitalisation for transparency, efficiency, and inclusivity.
The Vice Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber, Krishan Balendra, highlighted the significance of tourism as a short-term solution to increase foreign exchange earnings, particularly by tapping into outbound tourism from India.
Industry leaders also supported the export-led strategy and called for greater market access in India, including increasing garment exports to promote bilateral trade and benefits for both countries.