India and Sri Lanka on Wednesday signed seven agreements and discussed devolution of powers to the provinces and opening of negotiations with Tamil groups.
If entering into trade agreements is opening up the floodgates to bigger countries, then some in Sri Lanka do not want the flood-gates opened to India, but the government has already done so, for seven other countries besides India. CEPA is carved in stone, some claim, but it is far from reality
The Democratic National Alliance in Sri Lanka has decided to ask for a parliamentary debate on the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement to be signed with India and asked the government to disclose the contents of the agreement.
Although Governments of India and Sri Lanka have shown keen interest in expediting their mutual trade pact, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is likely to get delayed after local business leaders have expressed grave concerns over its impact on Sri Lankan economy.
The Business Times reliably understands that sections of the government provided unofficial backing for the protest.
The India-Sri Lanka agreement is like the story of two farmers who share a cow by owning two equal halves of the cow. They tied a rope around the belly of the cow. One owned the front part and the other the rear. Farmer who owned the rear got all the economic benefits including milk, calves and even manure while the other paid for it!
President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday said Sri Lanka would not enter into trade agreements that would have an adverse effect on the country’s economy when he met a group of protestors against the implementation of a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) with India.
A large group of Sri Lankan entrepreneurs, businessmen and workers launched a protest outside the Liberty Plaza complex at Kollupitiya yesterday, opposing the CEPA trade agreement with India.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in the capital Colombo Tuesday demanding Sri Lanka’s government abandon a proposed trade pact with neighbouring India.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) believes that South Asia’s prospects for a regional grouping have greatly improved and that prospects for deeper economic integration within the region and with the rest of Asia would continue to improve in future.
The Free Trade Agreement between India and Sri Lanka is 10 years old and a top trade economist says trade between the two South Asian neighbours have improved and that Sri Lanka should consider upgrading the agreement into a comprehensive economic partnership.
A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Singapore would be beneficial because it would result in more opportunities with Sri Lanka, currently attempting to develop itself as a hub to India and a financial hub; particularly due to the country’s existing respective FTAs with India and with Pakistan, a top Singapore businessman has said.
Negative trade balance is not always negative. It could be looked in a broader context said the Head of Chancery of the Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka Balal Akram. Referring to the negative trade balance between the countries which is favourable to Pakistan Akram said that 35 per cent of Sri Lankan imports from Pakistan are raw material for the apparel industry.
Sri Lanka has reacted strongly to a European Commission (EC) probe on its human rights record, saying it is politically motivated.
The United States has asked Sri Lanka, ranked high for software piracy in Asia, to better enforce intellectual property rights and also lift restrictions on American imports like genetically modified food.
The European Commission is all set to recommend withdrawal of trade benefits from Sri Lanka after allegations of large scale violation of human rights surfaced during the last stages of the civil war against the LTTE.
Sri Lanka is very likely not pursue a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with Pakistan because a similar agreement with India was put in cold storage last year amidst mounting domestic pressure.
India and Sri Lanka are expected to sign a new economic agreement next year covering both goods and services, said the island nation’s Minister of Investment Promotion Navin Dissanayake.
The Free Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be further expanded to services and investment in keeping with a bilateral discussions between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, yesterday.
Sri Lanka and Kuwait successfully concluded negotiations on the proposed Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) between two countries. This will be Sri Lanka’s first ever IPPA with a Gulf country.