India overtakes China as Sri Lanka's main import source nation

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India has emerged as Sri Lanka's biggest importing source nation ahead of China and Singapore, a senior minister said today.

India accounted for 18 per cent of Sri Lanka's total imports while the corresponding figure for China was 16 per cent and that for Singapore was 9 per cent, Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene told reporters.

He said this was a direct result of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India.

Pakistan is the only other nation with whom Sri Lanka has signed the FTA.

Abeywardene said India is Sri Lanka's third largest export market with 5 per cent of exports going to the giant neighbour.

The US with 24 per cent and the UK with 10 per cent are ahead of India.

The Minister said the foreign direct investments into Sri Lanka doubled from a year earlier to $ 442 million in the first quarter of 2014.

He said 36 per cent of the investments came into the tourism sector, 26 per cent into utilities, 15 per cent into infrastructure, 7 per cent into industry and 4 per cent into apparel sector.

In 2013, the country was able to attract FDIs worth $ 1,391 million, a 4 per cent increase from 2012 figure of $ 1338 million.

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