The government has commenced the formal process to regain the EU's GSP Plus trade facility under the Union's new GSP regulation.
A high level trade delegation of European Union arrived in Sri Lanka Monday (23) to commence discussions on regaining the EU's GSP Plus trade concession.
A joint statement by Sri Lanka and the EU said the EU-Sri Lanka Working Group on Trade and Economic Cooperation met in Colombo yesterday (24).
The meeting, held in a friendly and constructive atmosphere, was co-chaired by R.D.S. Kumararatne, Director General of Commerce, for Sri Lanka and Marc Vanheukelen, Director, European Commission Directorate General for Trade, for the EU.
Sri Lanka and the EU discussed issues related to promoting bilateral trade and investment. In particular they started the process that may lead to the re-admission of Sri Lanka to the status of GSP+ under the European Union's new GSP regulation.
They also discussed bilateral matters related to investment facilities, import duties and fishery exports from Sri Lanka to the EU.
The EU and Sri Lanka also reviewed progress in the WTO Doha Development Agenda negotiations and expressed their hope that the Trade Facilitation Agreement would enter into force at the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2015.
Sri Lanka's proposal for possible funding in the areas of trade-related capacity building & 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.
The discussion on regaining GSP+ with the EU Trade Working Group that began yesterday is expected to further progress at the Joint Commission (JC) next month. The conclusions of the discussions will be fed into the JC sessions and the EU JC delegation will suggest ways of future cooperation with Sri Lanka at the end of the session.
The JC will cover the entire spectrum of Lanka-EU affairs including political matters, trade development, and will be held on April 02 in Colombo with other government Ministries taking part.