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'Regain EU's GSP plus to boost Sri Lankan textile exports'
Jul '13
For regaining competitive edge in exports, particularly in the field of textiles and apparel, Sri Lanka should reapply and obtain the Generalized System of Preference (GSP) plus facility with the European Union, for which Sri Lanka has now become eligible, suggested Dawn Austin, the outgoing Chairperson of the Exporters Association of Sri Lanka (EASL).
Addressing the 16th Annual General Meeting of EASL, Ms. Austin said while increasing the product coverage, the GSP plus has widened the concessions and provides and opening for lower middle income countries to diversify their exports, particularly in the fields of textile and garment.
Ms. Austin said the new GSP facility introduced by the Government of Norway from January 1 this year provides a plethora of opportunities, and added that with the introduction of the new GSP concession, Sri Lanka is entitled to enjoy duty free access to all industrial products, including all textile items.
Sri Lanka lost its preferential trade access to the EU in 2010, after the island country failed to meet the necessary human rights conventions that are necessary to enjoy continuation of the trade facility.
However, the Sri Lankan Government claimed that the loss of GSP plus facility had not much affected, as the apparel manufacturers bagged more orders from new markets.
Sri Lanka exported textiles and apparels worth US$ 3.8 billion last year and the country has set a target of achieving US$ 4.1 billion in textiles and garment exports this year.
From January to May 2013, Sri Lanka’s textiles and garment exports declined by 1.7 percent to US$ 1.643 billion, compared to exports of US$ 1.671 billion made during the corresponding period last year, according to the data from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
Textiles constitute nearly 10 percent of all Sri Lankan exports, while garments account for nearly 40 percent of all exports made by Sri Lanka.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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