Speaking at the 17th AGM of the Sri Lanka Garment Buying Offices Association, Mr Bernard Savage and Head of the European Union (EU) delegation said that EU has stood by Sri Lanka in difficult times and that the temporary suspension of the GSP+ facility is not a punishment.
He said, “The Government needs to carry out an action plan as per the dialogue it had with the European Union and since EU is a friend of Sri Lanka, we remain friends and hope the friendship will grow in future and there will be no break in the market access under the GSP+ facility”.
The Sri Lankan apparel export sector has charted a blazing trail in the last few years, partly helped by the concessions provided by the EU. Export revenues grew from US $2.68 billion before the expiry of the Multi- Fibre Agreement in 2005 to $3.3 billion in 2008.
However due to the impact of the economic turmoil, it dipped to $3.15 billion in 2009. Garment exports to the European too have grown by around 66 percent. From $996 million in 2005, it has now touched $1.64 billion in 2009, mainly due to the duty-tree access provided by the EU.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India