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India, Sri Lanka negotiating CEPA

The Hindu, India

India, Sri Lanka negotiating CEPA

31 May 2007

New Delhi, May 31 (PTI): India and Sri Lanka are working on upgrading their economic relations through a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement that would expand the existing FTA to include trade in services and encourage investment.

"The agreement will be FTA-plus and would seek to liberalise on a mutually satisfactory basis not only trade in merchandise, but services as well," High Commissioner of Sri Lanka C R Jaysinghe said at a conference organised by FIEO.

"The text of CEPA negotiations aqnd text of the framework agreement is very nearly complete," he added.

The CEPA would liberalise trade in services and investments by updating existing agreements on investment protection, avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion.

"CEPA will seek to further prune down the negative list in FTA while relaxing rules of origin," Jaysinghe said.

He said officials of Sri Lanka and India were currently focusing on Mutual Recognition Agreements pertaining to professional qualifications.