The European Commission has proposed increased market access for Sri Lanka as reform incentive.
The EU Commission proposed today that significant part of the remaining import duties on Sri Lankan products should be removed by the EU in exchange for the country’s commitment to ratify and effectively implement 27 international conventions on human rights, labour conditions, protection of the environment and good governance.
These preferences would come under a special arrangement of the EU Generalized Scheme of Preferences known as GSP+.
The release says that the removal of customs duties for Sri Lanka would be accompanied with rigorous monitoring of the country’s progress in the area of sustainable development, human rights and good governance.
These one-way trade preferences would consist of the full removal of duties on 66% of tariff lines, covering a wide array of products including textiles and fisheries. These preferences would come under GSP+
The release goes on to note that Sri Lanka has taken important steps to improve the respect of human rights and extend good governance. However, it adds that more needs to be done to improve on issues of concern.
The EU is Sri Lanka’s biggest export market accounting for nearly one-third of Sri Lanka’s global exports. In 2015 total bilateral trade amounted to €4.7 billion. EU imports from Sri Lanka amounted to €2.6 billion and consisted mainly of textiles as well as rubber products and machinery.
The Counselor of the delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and Maldives Paul Godfrey expressed his views…
“President Maithripala Sirisena worked tirelessly over the past few months to regain GSP+ concessions for Sri Lanka.
During a recent visit to Germany, President Sirisena urged German Chancellor Angela Merkel to support Sri Lanka in its efforts to regain the GSP+ concession.
Germany is one of the key players in the activities of the European Union.
Based on the request of the President, the German Chancellor pledged to support Sri Lanka in its efforts.”