Belgium to support Lanka’s efforts to regain GSP+ concession

Visiting Secretary of State for Foreign Trade of the Kingdom of Belgium Pieter De Crem assured the government that Belgium will extend its support for Sri Lanka’s efforts to regain GSP+ concession, a statement from the Foreign Ministry said.

Secretary De Crem made a one day official visit to Sri Lanka yesterday which marked a new chapter in Sri Lanka – Belgium relations.

During the visit Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva, and Pieter De Crem, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade of the Kingdom of Belgium held bilateral talks. At the talks, the visiting Secretary expressed the hope that the current developments in Sri Lanka would provide better opportunities for the existing ties between Sri Lanka and the Kingdom of Belgium to be further enhanced.

According to the Foreign Affairs ministry, the Acting Minister, De Silva encouraged the Belgium business community to make use of the present investor friendly environment in Sri Lanka and explore business opportunities accordingly.  State Secretary Pieter De Crem responded that there will be a business delegation headed by a high level political representative visiting Sri Lanka in the later part of 2016 to explore opportunities.

It was noted that there are already several Belgium companies who are operating successfully in Sri Lanka in the fields of food processing, gems and jewellery, IT service, apparels, rubber based automotive components, tourism and infrastructure projects. However, attention was made to the fact that the balance of trade between Sri Lanka and Belgium remains in favour of Sri Lanka.

During the visit, State Secretary Pieter De Crem also held talks with the Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Rajitha Senaratne, State Minister of International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe, and Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Champika Ranawaka.