Written by Staff Writer
14 Sep, 2015 | 7:36 pm
Negotiations on the long-delayed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between India and Sri Lanka or CEPA, have once again come to the fore.
The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or CEPA will see the removal of several trade barriers between India and Sri Lanka. It has been envisaged that the agreement will remove barriers in the trade of goods and services, employment notwithstanding national borders, investment, aviation, customs and standards and technology regulation.
A co-operation agreement already exists between the two nations on the trading of goods.
Dr. Aminda Methsila Perera, a lecturer of the North Western University, speaking on the subject said that the agreement was signed by Sri Lanka in 1998 and came into effect in 2000. He added that it was maintained as a cordial trade agreement between India and Sri Lanka.
He further stated:
Later on, it expanded to include the services industry and a fear arose that this would lead to an influx of Indian labour, depriving Sri Lankan labourers. The second agreement discussed in 2003, did not come into effect in 2008, to date, the agreement is not in effect.
Meanwhile President of Inter Company Employees Union Wasantha Samarasinghe noted that the biggest problem is that once this agreement is signed, the two lands of Sri Lanka and India would come to be viewed as one land, where India will benefit in business and other affairs.
He also added that the barbers in India can set up shop in Sri Lanka. Coconut pluckers from there could come to Sri Lanka. All the economic doors of labour, professionals, industry and manufacturing, which have been closed thus far, would be opened towards India.
Lecturer from Colombo University Indrajith Aponsu speaking on this topic said:
They say that people in Sri Lanka too would be able to do the same in India. This where the problem arises, it is highly probable that they will come to Sri Lanka, but the question is whether Sri Lankans need to go there and the second issue is whether they will have the same opportunity to engage in services there. Even the goods exchange between India and Sri Lanka was not successful…”
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