SLASSCOM red flags Indo-Lanka trade agreement over tech industry

SLASSCOM red flags Indo-Lanka trade agreement over tech industry

SLASSCOM red flags Indo-Lanka trade agreement over tech industry

Written by Staff Writer

20 Jan, 2016 | 9:03 pm

A topic that is hotly trending across the media is the inclusion of computer and information technology services under the services sector in the Indo-Sri Lanka Trade Agreement.

On the 9th of December, 2015, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe asserted that his government would not sign a CEPA agreement but the government would “enter into an economic and technical pact that is favorable to Sri Lanka”.

Following the assurance by the Prime Minister the Discussion on the proposed Indo Lanka Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ECTA)has now taken center stage.

SLASSCOM, Sri Lanka association of software and services companies, an organisation looking after the interest of IT professionals in the country issued a statement expressing their concern on the proposal agreement.

The statement reads “SLASSCOM will with utmost caution evaluate any trade agreement and we reiterate that we will not support any agreement that is detrimental to the industry and the country.”

The opposition meanwhile has raised their eye brows over the proposed agreement between Sri Lanka and neighbor India.

Wasantha Samarasinghe, the Convener of Voice Against Corruption, warned that job opportunities of all in the Information Technology sector were at stake as an influx of immigrant labour from India would disrupt the local salary structure within the country. He called for discussions between the government and relevant industry sectors before any official agreement was signed, warning that if discussions were not held ” we would bring the people together and work on behalf of the people ”

Over 72,000 IT professionals are currently employed in state and private sectors of the country, out of which 25,000 professionals branch out to the export sector.

3000 pass out as Information technology graduates from the state Universities while another 3000 pass out from private universities looking at opportunities in a growing IT and BPO market in Sri Lanka.

The IT and the BPO industry, generates 700 million USD revenue annually, placing itself as the 5th largest export industry in Sri Lanka – contributing silently but steadily to the economy.

Last afternoon at a media briefing, the state minister of International trade, Sujeewa Senasinghe, gave a commitment and said no country will be allowed to exert influence on the island nation.

We will only signing the Agreement if there was any benefit to the country” he said.

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