Sri Lanka small businesses to get EU funding

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – The European Union is considering a request by Sri Lanka for funding to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) improve trade competitiveness, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said.

The proposal was discussed at this week’s talks between visiting officials of the EU Trade Working Group and Sri Lanka trade officials.

The EU-Sri Lanka Working Group on Trade and Economic Cooperation also discussed Sri Lanka’s request to regain the GSP Plus trade deal giving duty free access to exports, a statement said.

"Sri Lanka’s proposal for possible funding in the areas of trade-related capacity building and development support for SMEs’ trade competitiveness in regional and EU markets under EU’s Regional Programming for Asia Multiannual Indicative Programme 2014-2020 is being favorably considered by the European Union.”

According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, bilateral trade between EU and Sri Lanka was 5.07 billion US dollars in 2014, up 3.6 percent from 2013.

It said 69 percent of 2014 EU-Lanka trade were Sri Lankan exports to the EU.

Apparel was the biggest export item in 2014 at 2.16 billion dollars, growing by 10.5 percent from the year before.

The second biggest export was rubber tyres and tubes and third biggest frozen fish.

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