Sri Lanka, India reach deal on mutual professional recognition

July 20 (LBO) – Sri Lanka and India has recognized each other’s professional standards, organizations senior official negotiating a wide-ranging trade and services agreement with India said. “We have almost finalized the text of the comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA),” Manel de Silva, Director-General of Commerce of the Commerce Department, told LBO in an interview.

“We’re now looking at the negative lists, services commitments and MRAs (Mutual Recognition Agreements). We’ve now finalized MRAs for standard organizations of the two countries.”

The two countries have held 10 rounds of talks so far on the CEPA which aims to expand the scope of the existing free trade agreement between them and include in its purview investments and trade in services.

“We now need to finalise the text of the agreement,” de Silva said, adding that trade officials are to next meet in September.

Under the liberalization of services in the new agreement, both sides are negotiating mutual recognition of each other’s professional qualifications and evaluation standards to enable cross-border flows of people for work.

De Silva acknowledged fears among Sri Lankan profession