Open Call

Sept 15, 2007 (LBO) – India’s envoy in Sri Lanka urged the island’s business community to overcome reluctance to open the services sector in trade talks between the two countries, especially the movement of people. . India’s economic growth was accelerating faster than had been forecast, creating skills shortages that Sri Lankan companies were well placed to fill, Indian High Commissioner Alok Prasad told the island’s business community Friday.

India’s had already become a trillion dollar economy in 2007, ahead of predications that it would do so in 2011, he said in a presentation on Indo-Lanka economic relations and prospects organised by the Indo-Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The proposed bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), an improved version of the existing free trade deal, would improve trade coverage and is meant to extend beyond trade in goods to new areas like services.

“There are sensitivities and we should address them squarely and head-on,” Prasad said.

“We should be upfront with each other. Of course, there must be safeguards built in measures to ensure there’s no disruption to the economy.”

Prasad called for a more confidence approach t