(India/Rubber Asia) When the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed in December 1998, informed opinion may have considered it experimental. In Sri Lanka, the questions raised were: “Will Indian goods flood the Sri Lanka market?” and “Does Sri Lanka have the resources to penetrate the vast Indian market?”
The FTA became operational in March 2000, and trade across the Palk Strait has expanded significantly since then. When the Sri Lankan and Indian Prime Ministers met in June 2002, they decided to widen the scope of cooperation under the FTA which dealt with trade and tariffs, to include services, technology and investment, thus moving the two economies towards greater integration and propelling them forward to a Comprehensive Econonomic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
The $500,000 pledged by Continental AG to the victims of the tsunami in Asia will go mainly to the benefit of the homeless and fishermen, a company statement explains. A large share of the funds will be put to use in Malaysia, where the automotive supplier also has two tyre plants. Indonesia and Sri Lanka will also receive aid.
Goodyear Dunlop has teamed up with Southern Vectis providing tyres for ten IVECO 59-12 vehicles that the bus company is pledging to Asia Bus Response, a UK-wide appeal for vehicles by the bus industry.
The Trelleborg Group has been working since the day after Christmas to ensure that none of its employees is missing and has organised relief efforts, primarily in Sri Lanka. Trelleborg, which has approximately 22,000 employees, has operations in several of the countries affected. Reports to date indicate that none of Trelleborg’s employees are missing. The company is continuing to gather information to establish the certainty of this.
The Group has approximately 800 employees in Sri Lanka. They have been heavily affected, and some have lost their homes. Since the disaster first struck, Trelleborg has focused its relief efforts on Sri Lanka. This has involved providing food, medicine and clothing to disaster victims. Efforts to rebuild homes that were demolished are ongoing.
The company has allocated just over 2 million Krone for relief to Sri Lanka. In addition, the Group has donated 100,000 Krone each to Save the Children and the Red Cross. Individual Trelleborg employees have also donated money toward relief efforts. Trelleborg’s two plants in Sri Lanka are intact and production is under way.
Watts Industrial Tyres Plc has signed an agreement with Continental AG to supply solid industrial tyres to its industrial tyres business unit. Continental is going to use the tyres to develop the US and Asian markets. The tyres will be manufactured to Continental’s specification at Eu-Retec (Pvt) Ltd in Sri Lanka.