The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) highlighted that the Government was yet to appoint a proper national authority to formulate a national policy with regard to foreign trade agreements.

Member of the General Committee of the GMOA, Dr. Shenal Fernando said that no gazette had been issued in this regard and neither had Cabinet approval been given for such.
Once an authority is appointed the process must be declared, he added, noted that it was only following the defining of national mechanisms in the various sectors that the Government could go ahead with agreements concerning trading and services.

“Professionals in the country are united regarding the issue of the proposed Indo-Sri Lanka Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). The Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade is informally talking of a policy but this will not do,” he said.

He further pointed out that new agreements must not affect national security, national interests or the safety of the public service. “Sectors like engineering have no proper definition. The house must be put in order prior to signing free trade agreements as otherwise it would do more harm,” he added.
(R LJ)