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'GSP+ a platform for Sri Lanka to sign FTA with EU'
May '17
Sri Lanka is likely to regain the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) trade concession in the European Parliament after defeating a resolution objecting its resumption was tabled. The GSP+ can be used as a platform to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU), said Harsha De Silva, deputy foreign affairs minister of Sri Lanka.

The resumption of GSP+ concession should be used as an opportunity to create an FTA with the EU as the trade concession is not likely to last for more than four years. Thus, Sri Lanka should start discussions for an FTA, De Silva told reporters during a media briefing.

De Silva added that he has already instructed the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Brussels to initiate discussions for entering into an FTA with EU. The minister will also discuss it with the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

The minister also helped laying the groundwork required to defeat the resolution tabled in the European Parliament. Defeating this resolution is considered a great victory for the country on an international platform. Close to 436 Members of the European Parliament were against the anti-Sri Lanka resolution, while 119 MEPs voted in its favour.

An announcement declaring the final decision of the European Parliament about revoking the anti- Sri Lanka resolution will be made on or about May 15, said De Silva. He added that Sri Lanka should diversify its exports and products to reap the benefits of the GSP+. (KD)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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