Exports to the EU records trade surplus of Euro 1.3 billion in favour of Sri Lanka says EU envoy
The new Ambassador of the EU Delegation in Sri Lanka Denis Chaibi has reportedly said that there is a trade surplus of Euro 1.3 billion in favour of Sri Lanka.
“However, Garments and Articles of Textiles accounted for over 58% of exports to the EU in 2018. He added that not all Tariff lines in the Garment Sector were accommodated under the GSP+ facility, while the Sri Lankan Garment Sector in general had a relatively high import content of inputs in the case of many Tariff Lines. In this context the potential for Sri Lanka to diversify and expand exports to the EU was very high.”
The Ambassador has reportedly made these comments at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the National Chamber of Exporters (NCE).
The NCE has been working closely with the EU Delegation in Sri Lanka in order to explore new easy of boosting Sri Lanka’s exports to the EU.
Chaibi was supportive of the Chamber, regarding its initiative to introduce a Certificate of Conformity (COC).
The Ambassador has pointed out that with Sri Lanka becoming an Upper Middle Income Country in 2019 according to the World Bank definition, a three year transition period has been triggered from January 1, 2020 wherein the GSP Plus trade concessions hitherto enjoyed by Sri Lanka for exports to the EU Market will expire in 2023.
However, the EU Ambassador has called on Sri Lanka to retain access to the EU market, since the EU has the biggest network of Preferential Trade Pacts with other countries, with access to Global Value Chains. Local media reports have states that in this context the EU was entering into a number of bilateral trade agreements with countries such as Indonesia, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Chile, and New Zealand while finalizing a historical agreement with Japan as well.
Sri Lanka has also been advised to enter into a trade deal with the UK, post BREXIT, since the UK is an important market for Sri Lanka.
Further, since the EU was adopting a ‘Green New Deal’, with the objective of becoming Climate Neutral by 2050, Ambassador Chaibi has called on Sri Lankan exporters to familiarise themselves with the new Environmental Standards of the EU.
Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean, the ease of doing business environment in the country and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have made it an attractive business destination in the South Asian region. One of the main trade concessions enjoyed by the country, the EU’s GSP Plus trade concession, is yet to be fully utilised by Sri Lanka. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore business opportunities in Sri Lanka’s exports sector.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/24022020/Z_8|