The government is set to sign the controversial Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India before end of 2016. An Indian trade delegation is scheduled to visit Colombo within the month where matters pertaining to the ETCA draft will be discussed before the agreement is finalized between the two countries.
However, admits growing opposition against the agreement with India, specially by certain sections of the professional community including doctors and IT professionals, Minister of International Trade Malik Samarawickrama addressing a news conference in Colombo last week assured that the agreement will be signed after necessary consultation with Chambers of Commerce and professional bodies in the country.
The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has claimed that the ETCA will pave way for Indian professionals to come to Sri Lanka for jobs, which will jeopardize job opportunities for Sri Lankans. However, Samarawickrama has said that the government will not allow any foreigners to infiltrate the local job market, unless under special cases.
He added that the agreement with India will in fact increase job opportunities for Sri Lankans as India will set up an economic zone in the country, which will also pharmaceutical and auto parts manufacturing plants which will generate new job opportunities for Sri Lankans.