Dr Narayan, a former economic Adviser to the Indian Prime Minister says there’s ample opportunity to further India - Sri Lanka Trade.
Dr. Narayan, former secretary to the Indian Ministry of finance and former economic adviser to the Indian Prime minister, made such statements by pinpointing to several sectors where opportunity for growth is visible. One such area for Sri Lanka to exploit is the market for consumer goods, he said, given the nature of India’s vast internal market. He alluded to the current success of the export of Sri Lankan sausages as a case study for his claim. Sri Lankan sausages, is preferred over local sausages , especially in Southern India, due to its higher quality, which results in gains in income for Sri Lankan sausage producers and exporters. At the same time, India benefits from higher quality when its local producers aim to perfect their production process to match the quality of Sri Lanka exports, which leads to mutual gains for both countries.
Dr. Narayan also pointed to the IT sector as an area filled with opportunities for Sri Lankan firms. Despite India being an IT giant, and attracting a lot of IT related investment into key cities like Hyderabad and Bangalore, where you would expect Indian firms to dominate, there is so much scope for Sri Lankan IT firms to exploit. He claimed that since recently, many large Indian IT firms like Oracle have been preoccupied with government work alone, that they are missing out on other potential customers. This is what creates the market for Sri Lankan IT firms to target, and prosper in the process.
Such sentiments were expressed in a Facebook Live event organized by the Advocata Institute, held at the MAS innovation centre on the 21st of November. Dr. S. Narayan was joined by Professor Razeen Sally, associate professor of the National University of Singapore and the chairman of the Institute of Policy studies. The discussion progressed into a session of active engagement between the audience present at the venue and the audience connected through Facebook. Common questions asked were along the lines of whether India is a threat to Sri Lanka, bringing to light the transfer of professionals and skilled labour from India to Sri Lanka. The Facebook audience seemed concerned about the NT trade barrier removal and the degree of commitment India is showing to facilitate trade. Professor Sally went onto to ending the discussion on a light note, stating that we as Sri Lankans should be much more optimistic about Indo-Lanka relations and the opportunities that may arise from such a relationship.