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Singapore FTA probe committee invites public input

Tuesday, 21 August 2018 News


 

The Committee of Experts appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to re-examine the Sri Lanka Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) has invited public representations on the issues.
The Committee headed by former Colombo University Vice Chancellor and economist Prof. W.D. Lakshman has said in a newspaper advertisement in local newspapers today to send in any comments on the agreement before September 5.
The agreement, signed during the visit of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in January and which became effective in May this year, has come in for severe criticism from professional organisations raising concerns that Singapore stands to benefit far more than Sri Lanka.
The Committee has been mandated to and report in two months on the following:
1)      Review the New Trade Policy Paper issued by the Ministry (of Development Strategies and International Trade) as to its feasibility and use as a national trade policy document.
2)      Evaluate the Sri Lanka- Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) as to its stance of the liberalization of services with particular emphasis on the movement of professionals to Sri Lanka from Singapore under this agreement.
3)      Provide observations on the approval process of the SLSFTA.
4)      Make observations on the Government of Sri Lanka policy on the removal of para-tariffs over a three-year period with respect to its impact on local industry and consumer welfare in the medium to long run.
5)      Review implications of the above policy statement and free trade agreement on Sri Lanka’s ability to raise overall living standards of the citizens by creating an internationally competitive economy.
6)      Assess the impact caused by the SLSFTA on other service providing sectors in Sri Lanka.
7)      Submit recommendations for policy guidance with regard to the manner in which Sri Lanka’s trade policy should be formulated in future.     
The other members of the Committee are: Sirimevan Colombage, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the Open University, Ajitha Tennakoon, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Kelaniya, independent consultant Dr Sanath Jayanetti and the Central Bank’s former Assistant Governor R.A. Jayatissa. – ENDS -

 

Singapore FTA probe committee invites public input