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Lanka CEPA may get final shape on 29th

Indian doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, IT experts and other professionals may soon be able to go to Sri Lanka for better career opportunities.

, TNN|
Jan 27, 2007, 01.53 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: Indian doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, IT experts and other professionals may soon be able to go to Sri Lanka for better career opportunities. The proposed comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) between India and Sri Lanka, which provides for liberalisation of services and investment, is set to be implemented in the next few months. The eighth meeting of the trade negotiations committee (TNC) next week may give the agreement a final shape.

Speaking to ET, a commerce department official pointed out that since Sri Lanka had agreed to India���s demand to place quantity caps on exports of vanaspati and pepper, there was no reason to delay the CEPA. ���We are hopeful the TNC meeting on Monday will take the negotiations forward and we will be able to implement the agreement soon,��� the official said.

The joint study group, set up to give a feasibility report on CEPA, recommended the two sides should sign mutual recognition agreements on professional qualifications to enable easier movement of professionals. Sources said tourism was one contentious area which needed to be sorted out. ���While India wants that tourism, too, should be made a part of the agreement as there is a lot of scope for the Indian tourism industry to invest in the neighbouring country, Sri Lanka is not very keen,��� the source said.

The Sri Lankan government, however, is looking forward to Indian investments in a number of other areas, including textiles, electrical & electronics, light engineering, automobile components, rubber products, chemical and pharma, tourism & recreation, power & petroleum, sea port & airport, highways, SEZs, hospitals, housing & township, agriculture & agro-processing, IT/BPOs and IT enabled services.
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