Mutual Respect

March 24, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka and India are to sign ‘Mutual Recognition Agreements’, making it easier for professionals to cross borders when a new services trade agreement takes effect this year. India is the island’s third largest export market, with just under two billion dollars in bilateral trade. India is also the island’s fourth largest investor, with investments of over US$ 450 million in the island. “Sri Lanka is now making arrangements for professional bodies to sign Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA’s) with their counterparts,” Saman Kelegama, Executive Director of think tank, the Institute of Policy Studies, said Thursday.

“It has triggered a wave of re-awakening in professional bodies in regard to their regulatory framework.”

Kelegama is also part of Sri Lanka’s negotiating team on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), to free up services between India and Sri Lanka.

The Mutual Recognition Agreements are signed between the equivalent professional bodies in both countries, such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants, medical or legal associations.

The agreements means that both sides recognize professional qualifications and t