By Sandun A. Jayasekera
The controversial Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) will take centre stage during official talks between Mahinda Rajapaksa and Indian Premier Manmohan Singh next week and will be signed later this year, Co-operatives and Internal Trade Deputy Minister Neomal Perera said.
“It is true that it would be disadvantageous to Sri Lanka if the CEPA was signed in the present form. President Rajapaksa wants to have a dialogue with all the stakeholders to the issue – mainly the business community of Sri Lanka and incorporate their ideas and suggestions to the agreement which is expected to benefit the country immensely,” Mr. Perera told the Daily Mirror.
The Government is determined to give an opportunity to the business community, industrialists, investors, importers and exporters and even the consumers to air their views on the CEPA in the coming months. The agreement will be signed probably at the end of 2010 only after their suggestions and ideas are evaluated and incorporated in the agreement, Deputy Minister Perera stressed.