Sri Lanka, EU to discuss GSP Plus application: Harsha

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is ready to formally apply for the GSP Plus trade concession to get better market access to the European Union, Harsha de Silva, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, said.

“We‘re pretty much on our way to launch the GSP Plus application,” he told a business forum in Colombo organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka for a high level delegation from Austria.

“This is great news. We are very happy that we will be able to officially launch the application in the next few weeks.”

When the application goes to the EU parliament, de Silva said Sri Lanka will once again seek Austria’s support to get it passed.

A joint statement by the Sri Lankan government and the EU said the application was discussed at the EU-Sri Lanka Working Group on Trade and Economic Cooperation, which met on May 11, 2016, in Brussels.

The meeting was co-chaired by Sonali Wijeratne, Director General of Commerce for Sri Lanka, and Peter Berz, Head of Unit of the European Commission Directorate General for Trade of the EU.

“The Working Group discussed issues related to bilateral trade and investment, and possible means for their promotion in a mutual beneficial manner,” the statement said.

“In particular, it discussed Sri Lanka’s intention in applying for GSP+ status under the European Union’s GSP regulation.”

The statement said the meeting “took positive note of the fact that Sri Lanka had made significant progress” in addressing outstanding issues towards launching an application.

These were especially relating to the rule of law, democracy, governance and the overall situation pertaining to human and labour rights and environmental protection.
(COLOMBO, May 12 2016)
 

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