UK announces new scheme to drive trade with Sri Lanka
The government of the United Kingdom (UK) has reportedly launched a consultation on new trading rules saying the ‘Developing Countries Trading Scheme’ (DCTS) is a major opportunity to grow free and fair trade with 70 qualifying countries including Sri Lanka.
According to reports, the proposed scheme will mean more opportunity and less bureaucracy.
This includes improvements such as lower tariffs and simpler rules of origin requirements for countries exporting to the UK, allowing countries to diversify their exports and grow their economies, according to local media reports.
British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Sarah Hulton has been quoted as saying, “The proposed DCTS scheme signals the UK’s appetite to promote global free and fair trade, as well as demonstrating our commitment to Sri Lanka, by enabling Sri Lankan businesses to access the UK market more easily. Bilateral trade between the UK and Sri Lanka stood at GBP1.2 billion in 2020, and there is room for growth. I encourage people here in Sri Lanka to contribute to this important consultation, which is open to all.”
The consultation on the UK’s new scheme runs for eight weeks and seeks the view of all sectors of society, including businesses, the public, civil society groups, consumers, associations, partner governments and any other interested stakeholders, reports further noted.
The UK currently operates a similar scheme rolled over from the EU, but as an independent trading nation can now take a simpler, more generous, pro-growth approach to trading with developing countries.
The UK’s International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has been quoted as saying: “Trade fundamentally empowers people and has done more than any single policy in history to lift millions of people around the world out of poverty. Now the UK is an independent trading nation we have a huge opportunity to do things differently, taking a more liberal, pro-trade approach that leads to growth and opportunity.
Countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam have proven it’s possible to trade your way to better living standards, and our new Developing Countries Trading Scheme will help others do the same.”
Sri Lanka and the UK enjoy strong bilateral and trade ties and both parties have expressed keenness to further strengthen ties. With the UK becoming an independent trading nation, business/trade/investment opportunities for both Sri Lanka and the UK have further expanded. Sri Lanka is fast becoming a business hub in the South Asian region given its geographical positioning in the Indian ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country. The island is also engaged in an aggressive development programme aimed at taking the country to the next level of development. Businesses/investors in the UK could therefore confidently explore business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka and vice versa.
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