Re-instating GSP Plus will boost garment exports - Minister
The proposed Business Facilitation Networking Unit is a timely and
welcome step to make our investment process credible and transparent.
The Industry and Commerce Ministry will extend its fullest support to
this new unit, said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen
"I commend the efforts of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera to regain the GSP+ facility and
re-launch garment factories which were closed as a result of GSP+
withdrawal," he said.
"In 2013, our trade with EU was close to $5 billion and would have
been much more if we had GSP+. I also praise the measures to get the EU
fish ban removed and resume fish exports to the EU."
The EU suspended the GSP+ concessions to Sri Lanka in August 2010.
GSP+provided tariff concessions to Sri Lankan exports, specially apparel
thereby giving tax free access to EU markets.
Total trade with the EU in 2013 was $ 4.95 billion, compared to $4.94
billion the previous year. Despite withdrawing GSP+, the EU still
continues with the GSP facility for Sri Lanka.
EU is Sri Lanka's single largest export market and has also been Sri
Lanka's second largest trade partner for a long time. Total exports to
EU in 2014 (January-November provisional exports) stood at $3.21
Sri Lanka's fishery exports increased by 9.99% to $242 million
(provisional) from January-November, 2014, while provisional ornamental
fish exports increased by 17.33% to $11.51 million, crustacean exports
increased by 29% to $51.10 million and edible fish by 5.25% to $179.76
Of Sri Lanka's 75 medium and large scale fishery export companies, 32
use EU-approved processing plants.