EU considering Sri Lanka’s request to grant GSP+ concession, lift ban on fish exports
Tue, Mar 31, 2015, 09:41 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
Mar 31, Colombo: The European Union is reevaluating Sri Lanka’s request to grant the GSP plus concession for its exports to EU and to lift the restrictions imposed on export of fish products.
European Union Ambassador to Sri Lanka, David Daly expressing deep appreciation over the new government’s policies on improving human rights and strengthening democratic institutions when he met Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today, said the EU is seriously considering Sri Lanka’s request.
The envoy has explained that the legal processes were slow, as the EU has to go through a rigorous evaluation process before taking the final decision. However, he has acknowledged that the strong political weight thrown up by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe on these issues would be useful to speed up the process.
EU ambassador called on President Sirisena today and congratulated him on his electoral victory. He informed the President that a team of senior EU officials visited Sri Lanka for trade discussions and another team would shortly visit for joint committee meetings.
President Maithripala thanked the EU for the support given to Sri Lanka in the past and expressed hope that the cooperation between the EU and Sri Lanka would be strengthened in the coming years. He said although there were certain shortcomings affecting the relations in the recent past, his government is determined to rectify them and go forward to strengthen relations.
The EU withdrew the GSP Plus facility in August 2010 claiming Sri Lanka’s failure to comply with the eligibility criteria that included the implementation of international human rights conventions.
Sri Lanka’s apparel sector was mostly benefited by the EU’s GSP Plus facility and had lost considerable revenue on apparel exports over the past few years because of losing GSP plus.
However, with Sri Lanka’s new government taking measures to restore democracy and human rights the administration is hopeful that the EU will consider reinstating the concession as the recovery of GSP Plus would be a great step forward for Sri Lanka competitive apparel sector and its global image.