Several trade related issues will be discussed at an international conference on "The Doha Development Agenda and the Future of the Multilateral Trading System" organized by the Sri Lanka Law College in collaboration with the Department of Commerce and the World Trade Organization from July 30 to August 1.
Papers will be presented by Winfrid Blaschke, Trade Negotiator for Financial Services for the European Union, Dr. H. N. Thenuwara, Assistant Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and Shaheeda Barrie, State Counsel, Attorney General's Department.
The service sector is witnessing unprecedented growth globally in both developed and developing countries and the financial services sector is among the fore-runners that are fuelling such growth. In Sri Lanka the service sector represents a large part of its GDP and financial and communication services are said to be the fastest growing sub-sectors. "As such it's imperative that stake holders in the financial sector of Sri Lanka have a comprehensive understanding of the international agreements and obligations undertaken by Sri Lanka," a press release from the conference organizers said.
The international agreement of foremost importance to the financial services sector within and outside Sri Lanka is the Financial Services Agreement (FSA), which comes under the umbrella of the General Agreement on Trade in Services, popularly known as GATS.
The FSA which is propelled by the economic theory that minimum state intervention creates the ideal environment for optimal growth in the sector includes specific commitments by member states to liberalise their respective financial services sectors and also numerous general principles by which member states are bound.