India will assist Sri Lanka in setting up a hub for engineering and automobile components, which would be located near Trincomalee, to promote exports to production chains in India. The proposed engineering and automobile components special economic zone (SEZ) will also have a skill training centre.
Inaugurating the `India Show' in Colombo, India's minister of commerce, industry and textiles Anand Sharma also announced that India and Sri Lanka will also work together towards the establishment of a pharmaceutical manufacturing hub in Sri Lanka capitalising on the vast strides made by Indian pharmaceutical industry in meeting the quality drug requirements worldwide at affordable prices.
A joint task force has also been set up, which will submit its report within 90 days and would also work on the implementation of establishment of the two SEZs, the minister said. The composition of the joint task force from India would be finalised during the minister's visit itself, he added.
Sharma highlighted the global trend of formation of regional trade blocks and bilateral economic agreements and underlined the need for economic integration within South Asia, which could be part of larger Asian trade and economic architecture.
The minister also highlighted that India was not seeking reciprocity in trade and economic relationship with Sri Lanka and assured Sri Lanka of preferential access to the large Indian market. ''Accepting the principle of asymmetry, that India has always done as the leading economy of South Asia we are not seeking reciprocity'', the minister said.
Sharma assured Sri Lanka of preferential access to Indian market. He also set a target to double trade turnover between India and Sri Lanka from the existing level to $10 billion by the year 2015.