EU to grant GSP+, lift fish export ban

Solideal Loadstar won the Most Outstanding Exporter Award at the 23rd Annual NCE Export Awards ceremony held last Friday at the Colombo Hilton. Here Chief Executive Officer Konraad Pringiers receives the award from Guest of Honour European Union Ambassador David Daly.Sri Lanka Telecom Chairman P.G.Kumarasinghe Sirisena and NCE Chairman Sarada De Silva and officials look on looks on.

European Union Ambassador to Sri Lanka David Daly said the new government’s policies on improving human rights, good governance and strengthening democratic institutions is very encouraging to grant GSP plus and lift fish export ban to EU countries.

“The EU is seriously considering Sri Lanka’s request, as the EU has to go through a rigorous evaluation process before taking the final decision to grant both GSP plus and remove the fish export ban to the EU,” Daly told at the 23rd Annual Export Awards ceremony of National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lana (NCE) at Hilton Hotel Colombo last Friday.

The EU withdrew the GSP Plus facility in August 2010 alleging Sri Lanka’s failure to comply with the eligibility criteria that include the implementation of international human rights conventions.

“Once the GSP plus and fish ban are removed , Sri Lanka have access to exports in 28 member states of the EU,which amounts to Euro 2 billion trade, which will help to increase exports since the EU is a growing market for Sri Lanka, he said.

Sri Lanka’s has now identified exports as a way forward to double exports in order to build a strong and sustainable economy, he said.

To double exports ,the EU is a very lucrative market if Sri Lanka can adhere to good governance, rule of law, give priority to human rights and also quality which are the main focal factors to tap the EU market, Daly said.

In order to further develop business cooperation between EU and Sri Lanka, the EU will fund new a new project to provide the Sri Lankan government and the private sector assistance in four areas, he said.

“We are going to grant 8 million Euros for the development of SME sector to improve quality standards to enter the EU market,” he said.

Daly said that they will trade policy support, facilitate trade, improve quality standards and sanitary and phytosanitary support and help sector specific business involved in the SME sector to penetrate into this advanced markets.

He also said as the number one export destination for Sri Lanka, the EU is proud to remain the preferred choice for exporters in the country. Exporting to the EU single market means following the same transparent rules, same rules of origin the same duties and a single currency for business transactions, he said.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said Sri Lanka does not have a future without increasing exports and therefore he wants to promote economic diplomacy based on trade investment, growth and development and business.

He said that Sri Lankan business people are not sufficiently present in the international market and to facilitate business they are going to set up a special office in foreign missions to oversee businesses in Sri Lanka.

“Foreign offices will be revolutionized to manage and take the lead to promote trade, investment and

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