Sri Lanka likely to regain GSP plus from EU with no fresh conditions

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-08-12 11:00:00 – Colombo

Sri Lanka is likely to regain the GSP plus trade concession from European Union for garments exports, government said, five years after the nation lost the trade concession over its failure to meet the criteria on human rights concerns.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe gave assurance that Sri Lanka will regain the GSP plus trade concession from the European Union when he met local and foreign garment industry officials at Temple Trees yesterday. He said that no fresh conditions have been made. They have been working very closely with the EU.

The Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus had helped the garment industry, Sri Lanka's second biggest foreign exchange earner after remittances, to benefit substantially with a 6-7 percent concession.

Industry players have estimated the benefit to be in the range of above $500 million annually.

Wickremesinghe also urged the garment industry representatives to increase the wages of garment workers once the GSP plus trade concession is regained by Sri Lanka.

Exporters have also agreed to raise wages of their employees and increase their EPF and ETF contributions needed for the return of GSP plus.

Harsha De Silva, deputy economic development minister said that they are very, very hopeful of reinstating GSP plus within a matter of months.

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