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Sri Lankan apparel sector can gain by regaining GSP+
28
Mar '12
Sri Lanka's apparel industry can further benefit by regaining the EU's Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) concession, British High Commissioner John Rankin said while speaking at the 19th Annual General Meeting of Sri Lanka Apparel Sourcing Association.

He stated that withdrawal of the preferential tax facility extended under the EU's GSP+ does not seem to have had any significant effect on latter's garment exports to Europe. This is evident from the fact that around half of Sri Lanka's US$ 4 billion worth of apparel exports are towards the EU, including the UK.

The ongoing financial problems in some European countries, which has reduced the purchasing power of buyers there, has failed to affect the volume of Sri Lankan apparel exports to these countries, he said. However, the debt crisis may have led to contraction of profit margins of producers and outsourcing partners, he added.

According to Mr. Rankin, in spite of all adversities, Sri Lanka continues to be a major source of premium, innovative and reasonably priced clothing items for the EU, the US and India, and would continue to be so for long. Thus, it is in Sri Lanka's own interest to retain effective commercial relationship with these countries.

He suggested that Sri Lanka may try to regain the EU's GSP+ concession, but clarified that it is up to the Sri Lankan Government to decide whether it wishes to satisfy the GSP requirement and reapply to regain the facility.

The EU had temporarily withdrawn Sri Lanka's preferential access to the EU market starting from August 15, 2010, after if found shortcomings in Sri Lanka's implementation of three UN human rights conventions.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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