Around 500 families have flown back to Sri Lanka from India in the last one month, Vadivel Krishnamoorthy, Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner in Southern India said on Friday adding that this was opposed to just 20 families who had returned the previous month.
In his first interaction with the reporters, after assuming charge as Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Krishnamoorthy explained the various welfare measures initiated by the Sri Lankan government in the North and North Eastern Provinces after the end of civil war.
“The fear factor has been removed. People are being treated equally irrespective of their ethnic background. The new Sri Lanka provides a favourable climate for investment. July 2009 alone witnessed 45.2 per cent increase in the number of tourist arrivals to the island from India. About 500 families have flown back to the island in the last one month against 20 families in the previous month,” he said.
Addressing the members of India-ASEAN-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he urged the Indian businessmen to make good use of the favourable investment climate for mutual benefit. “Though the bilateral trade between India and Sri Lanka has grown from $0.5 billion to $3.2 billion in 2008, we are yet to touch the real potential. It can be scaled up since the fear factor has been removed. I am here to have long standing partnership with trade and business community,” he added.
In his welcome address, Chamber president C.S. Muthu Subramaniyan said: “Recent developments in Sri Lanka provide enormous growth opportunity for development. Trade and investment opportunities are on the rise and Indian real estate companies have started exploring opportunities in the island.” (Hindu)