Sri Lanka’s premier trade chamber, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) yesterday urged the government to bridge the information gap relating to the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India to prevent it from undergoing the same difficulties faced by the earlier Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
CCC welcomed the Prime Minister’s statement in parliament this week explaining the government’s stance on the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India. “The chamber now urges the authorities involved in the ETCA process to build on this by adopting a systematic consultative and information sharing process with the private sector,” a CCC statement said.
The chamber also called the technical experts from the government (particularly the Commerce Department) to play a more active role in educating the public, addressing queries/concerns of the private sector and providing relevant information in a timely manner. CCC, acknowledging that the final text of the agreement cannot be made public, urged to government to consider publishing a ‘white paper’ on ‘Expanding trade in services, investment and economic cooperation with India’, which captures the government’s thinking on the issue and clarifies the approach to be taken.
“The Commerce Department can consider setting up an ‘inquiry desk’ either in person or on a dedicated website where questions and clarifications on the ETCA can be directed,” the statement said.