Sri Lanka opposition doesn’t want foreign-led economy through ETCA

Feb 19, 2016 (LBO) – Parties in Sri Lanka’s opposition have raised concerns over proposed ETCA with India saying it leads to the “foreignization” of the Sri Lankan economy through executive fiat.

Issuing a statement, the Joint Opposition charged the government for opening the country up to Indian service providers although the proposed ETCFA is still pending.

“Minister Malik Samarawickrema did tell the media that the government would be opening up the IT and maritime engineering services to Indian professionals but he did not say anything about pre-hospitalisation health care,” the statement said.

“But the Prime Minister presented a cabinet paper dated 2 September 2015 on the setting up of an Ambulance service of India which will commence in the Western and Southern provinces first and then be expanded to the rest of the country.”

The statement further says before any new agreement is entered into, the shortcomings in the existing FTA with India should be ironed out and the bureaucratic blocks that Sri Lankan exporters have experienced in India should be eliminated.

“In 2014, we imported 4,023 million USD worth of goods from India and exported goods worth only 625 million USD to India. After more than 15 years of the FTA, Sri Lanka’s largest export item to India is arecanut.”