Sri Lanka will never sign CEPA with India, but open to new pact, says PM Wickremesinghe

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  1. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

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    Sri Lanka will never sign CEPA with India, but open to new pact, says PM Wickremesinghe
    [​IMG]
    Colombo: Sri Lanka will never sign
    the long-pending CEPA with India
    mooted during the previous
    Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, Prime
    Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on
    Wednesday told Parliament but said
    Colombo will instead enter into a
    new economic and technology pact
    with its neighbour in 2016.
    Wickremesinghe's clarification in
    the Sri Lankan Parliament came a
    day after trade union of state doctors
    – Government Medical Officers
    Association (GMOA) – claimed that
    the government is trying to sign the
    Comprehensive Economic
    Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with
    India under a new name.
    "Our government will never sign the
    CEPA agreement under any
    circumstance, and that it won't be
    signed under another name," he said
    and lashed out at GMOA for
    "misleading its members and the
    public" by making baseless
    statements.
    He said the government does not
    agree with the clauses that were
    included in CEPA by Rajapaksa
    government and the "harmful"
    agreement has been completely
    removed.
    He said the government will instead
    enter into an economic and technical
    cooperation agreement (ETCA) with
    India that is favorable to Sri Lanka.
    Wickremesinghe said the new pact
    will replace CEPA.
    The ETCA will not have most of
    CEPA features which were seen as
    inimical to Sri Lankan interests, he
    said, adding that the new pact will
    create employment opportunities for
    hundreds of thousands of
    unemployed youth in the country.
    The Prime Minister's statement
    followed Tuesday's statement by
    Foreign Trade Minister Malik
    Samarawickrema that the framework
    agreement would be signed in
    January.
    There will be negotiations lasting
    five to six months, Wickremesinghe
    clarified.
    The government will hold discussion
    with trade unions and political
    parties and will seek the approval of
    the Cabinet before finalising any
    agreement, he said.
    He said a Sri Lankan negotiating
    team is due to visit New Delhi on 21
    December for preliminary
    discussions.
    The CEPA has been in the works for
    several years but talks have proved
    futile as Sri Lanka's services sector
    have voiced apprehension over the
    pact's perceived advantages to India.
    A decision to set up a Joint Study
    Group for making recommendations
    for CEPA was first announced in
    April 2003 and its report was
    submitted in October 2003.
    Since then both countries have held
    several rounds of negotiations.
    Despite the FTA being in force for 17
    years, the trade balance continues to
    remain in favour of India.
    India emerged as Sri Lanka's largest
    trading partner in 2012, accounting
    for 20 percent of that country's
    imports and 5.6 per cent of exports.
    The bilateral trade in 2013-14 was
    USD 5.23 billion of which Indian
    exports accounted for USD 3.98
    billion.
     
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  3. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

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  4. DingDong

    DingDong Senior Member Senior Member

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    India must ignore these minions and move on, they will fall in place, eventually.
     

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