Britain assures Sri Lanka preferential tariff rates of the EU’s GSP Plus trade concession after Brexit
British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka James Dauris has reportedly given an assurance to local exporters that the UK would extend the same preferential tariff rates to countries which are currently beneficiaries of the European Union’s (EU’s) Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus facility to ensure there would be minimal impact to their exports post-Brexit.
The High Commissioner has made this observation when delivering the keynote address at the 24th Annual General Meeting of the National Chamber of Exporters.
Dauris has noted some of the key issues related to international trade and Britain’s ambitions post-Brexit outlook as well as responsibilities of local exporters and business leaders in charting Sri Lanka’s future growth.
“There are a lot of queries related to Brexit. Day one after the exit from the European Union (EU) we will set up a trade preference team to introduce preferential market access to developing countries under the EU GSP scheme to minimise business disruption,” the High Commissioner has assured the Sri Lankan exporters.
He has explained that this intended system of the UK would be implemented in three tiers and rates would be set at the same rates as the EU, while also noting that they would remain open, encouraging and friendly towards investors and businesses from around the world including Sri Lanka even after leaving the EU.
According to Dauris, the UK after Brexit would have in place a system of tariffs which would extend the same preferential tariff rates to countries which are currently beneficiaries of the EU GSP Plus including Sri Lanka.
The High Commissioner said the UK was confident of continuing its growth post-Brexit, which has also been acknowledged by the EU. “The UK is an outward-looking, engaging and key partner in economic development in the world,” he has observed.
The announcement by the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka ensures that Sri Lankan exports to the EU as well as the UK will continue to enjoys tariff concessions giving exporters in Sri Lanka an edge over exporters of many other countries. Sri Lanka’s exports sector has benefited greatly by the EU’s GSP Plus concession, US GSP concession as well as a host of free trade agreements that Sri Lanka is party to. Therefore, Sri Lanka provides the best business opportunities for foreign businesses to invest in Sri Lanka’s export sector and form joint ventures with local businesses engaged in exports to ensure good investment returns.
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