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Utilisation rate of GSP+ relatively low for Sri Lanka: EU

Sep '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The utilisation rate of the generalised system of preference plus (GSP+) scheme is relatively low for Sri Lanka and the European Union (EU) hopes the situation will improve in future, Thorsten Barfrede, charge d’ affaires of the EU Delegation to Sri Lanka and Maldives, recently said. GSP+ has worked well for Sri Lanka since its resumption in 2017, he said.

Sri Lanka’s exports to the EU have since 2017 increased by more than 20 per cent, Barfrede told a seminar on ‘Sri Lanka’s Exports to the EU: Impact of GSP plus’ in Colombo.

The suggestions he put forward for Sri Lanka to grow with GSP+ concessions and to strengthen EU - Sri Lanka trade ties include product diversification, producing better quality goods to stay competitive in the global arena, turning the country’s high compliance in labour and environmental standards into a competitive advantage, and shifting to sustainable production concepts like organic and green production.

Statistics show Sri Lankan exports are still focused on traditional sectors. Apparel alone account for 60 per cent of Sri Lanka’s exports to the EU, according to Sri Lankan media reports.

Sri Lanka needs to look beyond export promotion as investors can bring not only capital, increase production but also bring know-how, Barfrede added. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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