India's trade with its neighbours, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, has been growing steadily.
Union minister of commerce and industry Kamal Nath yesterday told told Sri Lanka's minister of export development and international trade G L Peiris that the bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $3457.96 million in 2007-08 (exports: $2826.54 million / imports: $631.42 million), an increase of 27 per cent over the previous year figure of $2724.08 million.
The Sri Lankan minister is visiting India to discuss expanding bilateral trade between the two countries.
Nath emphasised that there was a scope for further improvement for FDI inflows to India and added that top sectors in which FDI has been approved from Sri Lanka are textiles, food processing industries, telecommunication, trading, chemicals, paper, leather industries etc. The approved Indian investments in Sri Lanka were $8.269 million in 2006-07 and $6.936 million during 2007-08.
Major Indian companies that have invested in Sri Lanka are Indian Oil Corporation, Taj Hotels, VSNL, Watawala tea plantations, Apollo Hospitals, LIC, L&T, Ambujas, Rediffusion, Ceat, Nicholas Piramal, Jet Airways, Ashok Leyland etc.
"During April-October, 2008 foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to India were valued at $18,707 million as against $9,277 during the same period last year showing an increase of 102 per cent. This shows that India is a favoured destination for investors despite a slow down in the world economy," Kamal Nath added.
India continues to be land-locked Himalyan mnarchy Bhutan's largest trade and development partner. Trade between India and Bhutan has virtually doubled from $141.86 million in 2003-2004 to $281.17 million in 2007-2008. In 2007-08, while India's export to Bhutan was $86.69 million, the imports were valued at $194.48 million.
During April-October, 2008 foreign direct investment flows to India were valued at $18,707 million as against $9,277 during the same period last year, showing an increase of 102 per cent. This shows India is a sought after destination for Investors despite slow down in the world economy.
The major items of exports from Bhutan to India are electricity, cement, timber and wood products, minerals, cardamom, fruit products, potatoes, oranges and apples, raw silk and alcoholic beverages. Major exports from India to Bhutan are petroleum products, rice, automobiles and spares, machinery and fabrics.