Sri Lanka business chamber expresses concern over CEPA with India

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 10:49 GMT, Apr 4, 2015 |

The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) , which serves the business community in Sri Lanka for over 65 years and has a membership of over 630 corporate and over 1500 Small and Medium Enterprises, is concerned over the proposed signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India. The NCCSL said in press release that “The FTA signed between Sri Lanka and India which was operational from the year 2000 had only minimal benefits for Sri Lanka and has yet to be improved to a great extent.”

“The business community strongly believes that the FTA signed between Sri Lanka and India should be implemented in full to its maximum potential before entering into other agreements such as the CEPA,” the chamber said. Although the FTA is a well-accepted document, it is noteworthy to say, that Sri Lanka signed it in a hurry and there are many non- tariff- barriers imposed in India, discouraging exports from Sri Lanka, the NCCSL said.

“CEPA has been a cause for concern amongst various factions in civil society including business entrepreneurs, industrialists and economists. The National Chamber is of the view that before the authorities come to a conclusion, the CEPA Agreement should be analyzed in greater detail as regards the implications involved, advantages/disadvantages and most of all how it will affect the economy, business and industries in Sri Lanka,” the release further said.

“Therefore, the National Chamber of Commerce strongly urges the authorities to make a careful study with the involvement of all the business Chambers in the country who represent the business community in Sri Lanka, before arriving at a final decision to sign the CEPA Agreement.”