Sri Lanka asked to get house in order ahead of opening up services

April 06 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is hoping to open its service sectors to neighboring India, but analysts say the country should first get local regulations in order. The two countries are in talks to allow exchange of services, including limited exchange of professionals, under an agreement to be signed by June this year.

But local think tank, the Institute of Policy Studies says that many professional bodies in Sri Lanka have limited regulatory capacity, which could hinder liberalization.

Many professional bodies in Sri Lanka have limited regulatory capacity and even if they do have capacity, some of these bodies lack parliamentary authority to control activities of its members, Deshal de Mel, Research Associate at IPS, says.

This becomes a problem in trying to control the quality and credentials of professionals who come here to work under a services agreement.

For example, de Mel says, Sri Lanka’s Institute of Architects has regulatory capacity but lacks the required ‘practice registration’, which would allow them to legally regulate the activities of its members.

A lack of basic regulations as well as data also increa