Speakers at the panel session from left: Ranel Wijesinha, Reyaz Mihular, Dr. Saman Kelegama, Lasantha Wickremasinghe, Dinuk Hettiarachchi and Nishan Fernando
In its capacity as the national body of accountants, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) recently engaged its stakeholders by conducting a forum exclusively for the benefit of its members focusing on the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) between India and Sri Lanka.
The forum was organised in an effort to provide CA Sri Lanka members, who are chartered accountants, with an in-depth understanding of the ETCA and also obtain views from members with regard to the proposed agreement which has generated interest in the recent past across all professional spheres.
The guest speaker at the forum was Dr. Saman Kelegama, Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies, who shared his views on the agreement between India and Sri Lanka with the members of the institute.
Speaking at the event, CA Sri Lanka President Lasantha Wickremasinghe said that the ETCA had generated a lot of interest in recent months among the professional community and there had been both positive and negative sentiments expressed on the agreement that the Government hopes to sign with India.
“Bilateral agreements are seen as an important method in accelerating growth between countries. However, any bilateral or regional agreement that Sri Lanka signs must be supportive of the country’s holistic interests including economic interest, while also taking the interest of the people,” Wickremasinghe said.
Therefore he noted that it was important for any Government to ensure that all the pros and cons were taken into account and to also carry out necessary consultations with all relevant stakeholders before signing such agreements.
“In our capacity as the national body of accountants, and also taking into account the interest the ETCA has generated in the recent past, we thought it was important to organise this forum for the benefit of our members in order for them to gain an in-depth understanding of the agreement,” he added.
The forum aimed to clarify if the accounting profession was affected by the proposed agreement and evaluate the pros and cons of it, while giving members of CA Sri Lanka a platform to share their thoughts on the agreement.
The forum was followed by a panel discussion featuring Dr. Saman Kelegama, Lasantha Wickremasinghe, Management Consultant Ranel Wijesinha, Managing Partner of KPMG Reyaz Mihular and Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Nihal Hettiarachchi and Company Dinuk Hettiarachchi. The session was moderated by Managing Director of BDO Consulting Ltd. Nishan Fernando.