Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe assured representatives of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects that job losses would not result from any FTAs signed by the government and that officials would work to resolve any issues that do arise.

In the case of the Singapore-Sri Lanka FTA, the PM noted that it was signed in an effort to attract investments and encourage joint ventures with international companies in Singapore. To address concerns relating to the agreement, meetings are to be held with professionals’ organisations so that misconceptions can be cleared by government officials.

Some professional associations have raised objections to the government signing trade deals as they could permit foreigners to work in Sri Lanka. There have also been calls for greater transparency, engagement with officials conducting trade deals and more robust protections to safeguard Sri Lanka’s interests.