InfoLanka.asia

Sri Lanka News and Information Portal

 
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Sri Lanka listed for GSP+ extension subject to probe outcome

Addthis

The European Commission has listed Sri Lanka among countries to which it is extending from next year the GSP Plus duty free trade deal but subject to the eventual outcome of an eligibility probe.
Trade experts said the listing, which had earlier been expected only by December 15, means Sri Lankan exporters will continue to enjoy duty free access to European Union markets under GSP Plus till next October.

An EC statement said the GSP Plus list for 2009-2011 covers 13 current GSP Plus beneficiaries including Sri Lanka and three new countries; Armenia, Azerbaijan and Paraguay.

"Accordingly, GSP Plus preferences are granted to those countries from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2011."

But the statement also qualified the extensions given to Sri Lanka and El Salvador both of which are being investigated by the EU to see whether they qualify and meet the criteria required to continue to enjoy the duty free benefits.

"With regard to Sri Lanka and El Salvador the fulfilment of the GSP+ eligibility is currently subject of pending investigations initiated by the Commission," it said.

"Specifically, in respect to Sri Lanka, the Commission's investigation will establish whether the national legislation of Sri Lanka incorporating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Convention on the Rights of the Child is effectively implemented."

Roshan Lyman, economic and trade advisor for the EU's local office, said Sri Lanka will continue to enjoy GSP Plus benefits during the investigation which usually takes up to a year to complete.

The EU has said it was concerned about alleged human rights abuses by Sri Lankan security forces in their campaign against the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The island's apparel industry, a key sector of the economy which generates a large amount of employment and foreign exchange earnings, has said it fears the loss of the GSP Plus trade benefits because of the human rights allegations.

A spokesman for the Joint Apparel Association Forum, an umbrella industry body, said the listing of GSP Plus beneficiaries by the EC this week means Sri Lankan exporters and overseas buyers will be assured of some predictability over the trade benefits.

"This does not mean we are entitled to the entire three-year period," he said. "If the investigation outcome is negative, the concession will be withdrawn."

The EU probe was announced on October 18 and a period of four months is provided to gather information about the country's eligibility, after which it can take another two months - till April - to examine the evidence.

"Also, there is provision in the regulation that if the European Council decides to withdraw the GSP Plus, then the decision comes into force after six months, so there is some predictability for trade.

"The assumption is that with the other six months also available, in all probability we will continue to enjoy the concession till next October."

 

~ LBO ~

 

World Clock

Related


Latest Videos


Horton Plains-...
Viewed 1590 times

Sri Lanka Ocean of...
Viewed 1319 times

Clarence Wijewardena -...
Viewed 1802 times

Colombo lotus tower...
Viewed 1572 times

Mervin Silva speaks...
Viewed 3288 times

Featured Articles

Defeating LTTEterrorism | How the country could face the threat of UN war crimes inquiry

LLRC told of President Rajapaksa’s right to take military action Senior lawyer Gomin Dayasri says the Sri Lankan government can justify its war against LTTE terror on the basis of...

Sunday, 31 October 2010

read more...

Will there be a Violent Resurgence of the LTTE soon?

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) was virtually demolished in May 2009  by the Sri Lankan armed forces in a series of battles in the Karaithuriapatru AGA division of  the...

TUSEDAY, 16 November 2010

read more...

More in: Politics, Sri Lanka, Defence, LTTE, International

Latest Articles