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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 108

Sri Lanka and Andra Pradesh agreed to launch a dual destination tourist programme

Hydrabad, 23 June, (Asiantribune.com): Southern Indian State of Andhra Pradesh which had links with Sri Lanka for several centuries has in principle, agreed to a dual destination programme which would promote tourism to Sri Lanka and Andhra Pradesh simultaneously.

Resulting from the recent visit to Andhra Pradesh by Sri Lanka’s Deputy High Commissioner to Southern India, P. M. Amza, the Government of Andhra Pradesh has agreed to consider a proposal by the Deputy High Commissioner to a dual destination tourism promotion programme which would benefit Sri Lanka and Andhra Pradesh.

Deputy High Commissioner Amza, visited Andhra Pradesh on 18th June and met with Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy the Chief Minister of the State.

Dscussions with the Chief Minister included the promotion of tourism and trade between Sri Lanka and Andhra Pradesh and enhancing and strengthening cultural relations and other issues of mutual interests.

Deputy High Commissioner described the meeting with the Chief Minister as being “fruitful and very encouraging with a lot of scope to work together with the State of Andhra Pradesh”.

Taking the suggestion for a dual destination programme further, the Deputy High Commissioner mooted the idea with Anam Ramnarayana Reddy, Minister for Information & Public Relation, Cinematography, Tourism, Culture, Archaeology and Museums and Archives and briefed the Minister about his discussions with the Chief Minister on this issue.

During the discussions, Deputy High Commissioner Amza explained the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka and the huge potential for tourism in the country.

With Andhra Pradesh having 140 listed Buddhist sites, which also provide a panoramic view of the history of Buddhism from 3rd Century BC to 14th Century AD, tourists interested in visiting Buddhist sites can visit the large number of such sites in Sri Lanka along with other sites of cultural interest and then journey to Andhra Pradesh. With good air connectivity between Colombo and Hyderabad, such a tour would be a fulfilling experience to any discerning tourist.

Responding favourably, Anam R. Reddy also conveyed his concurrence to the suggestion and appointed an officer under the supervision of Chitra Ramachandran, Secretary of his Ministry, to ensure the fruition of this tourism venture.

Deputy High Commissioner Amza also pointed out to Anam Reddy that there were a large number of Sri Lankans visiting the Thirupathi temple in Andhra Pradesh and requested the Minister for some special arrangements to be made to facilitate devotees from Sri Lanka, to have dharsha at the temple. As the temple comes under his purview, Reddy agreed to consider the Deputy High Commissioner’s request.

During his visit, the Deputy High Commissioner also held meetings with. Atluri Subba Rao, President of the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry and other entrepreneurs with a view to increase trade relations and attract investment into Sri Lanka from Andhra Pradesh.

Deputy High Commissioner Amza outlined the benefits of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and Sri Lanka and also the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) which is now under negotiations.

Explaining the ancient trade ties between the two countries, Deputy High Commissioner Amza pointed out to Sri Lanka’s strategic importance and the benefits potential investors in Sri Lanka would enjoy.

Atluri Subba Rao, in responding to the Deputy High Commissioner recalled that the FTA had given a “much needed boost to the bilateral trade between our two countries” and added that in the last fiscal year, bilateral trade was estimated at US$2.025 billion as the FTA was a “win win’ situation for both Sri Lanka and India.

Southern Indian State of Andhra Pradesh which had links with Sri Lanka for several centuries has in principle, agreed to a dual destination programme which would promote tourism to Sri Lanka and Andhra Pradesh simultaneously.Southern Indian State of Andhra Pradesh which had links with Sri Lanka for several centuries has in principle, agreed to a dual destination programme which would promote tourism to Sri Lanka and Andhra Pradesh simultaneously.

- Asian Tribune -

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