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Loss of GSP Plus will not impact exports – Apex Bank
22
Oct '09
The Apex Bank of Sri Lanka said that, the potential loss of GSP+ status will not have any adverse impact on the exports from the country. It has to be noted that this concession helped Sri Lankan exporters to boost up their shipments to its biggest market; European Union.

The European Union recently conducted a probe and also published a report which states that, Sri Lanka breached human rights laws, and could also impact the GSP+ status, when it comes up for renewal in December 2009. The GSP+ status helps access Sri Lankan products to be exported to the EU at Zero duty.

Sri Lanka rejected the findings and said it would defend itself, after refusing last year to cooperate with a rights probe it viewed as a violation of sovereignty while it was fighting to defeat the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The suspension of GSP+, which helped Sri Lanka earn a record US $3.47 billion from garment exports in 2008, could deal another blow to Sri Lanka's apparel industry, which is already suffering because of the current global economic state.

Last year, Sri Lanka said it would set aside $150 million to cushion affected exporters against the loss of GSP+ and said, that was its estimate of the total potential financial impact. In 2008, the European Union accounted for 36 percent of its $8.1 billion in total exports, followed by the US with 24 percent.

Fibre2fashion - News Desk, India

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