To secure GSP+ facility:
Govt, other bodies hail efforts of business community
The Government and other leading bodies have commended the efforts
taken by the business community to secure the GSP+ facility.
A high-powered business delegation will visit the European Union
shortly to lobby for the GSP+ facility.
The Government appreciates the efforts taken by the business
community to lobby for the GSP+ facility and we are confident that the
GSP+ facility would be made available to us. We obtained the IMF standby
loan facility despite all odds and we can face this challenge
successfully. The granting of the loan facility shows the country’s
credibility”, said State Revenue, State Finance Minister and Finance and
Planning Deputy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya.
“The development activities in the Northern and the Eastern provinces
are progressing well and the European Union needs to carry out a proper
assessment before arriving at a final decision. The initiative taken by
the business community is a positive move”, he said.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Sri Lanka Export
Development Board (EDB) Anil Koswatte said that it is good to put in an
additional effort to secure the GSP+ facility.
The EDB would support the private sector to arrest the situation.
Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris and his Ministry is alert about the issue and
is working for a favourable solution. It would be beneficial to have a
public-private partnership as in the event of a withdrawal of the GSP+
facility the most penalized party would be the industrialists, he said.
The ceramic industry would be one of the industries to be
affected in the event the GSP+ facility is withdrawn. The
industry has also generated a large number of employment
opportunities. Here an employee puts the final touches to a
A collective effort is needed and it is heartening to see the
business community taking up the corporate responsibility. There are
many challenges in the global market and we need to be strong and
competitive to face them, he said.
“We have talents, skills, resources and diversity that are necessary
for improved performance in the export sector. It is important to
harness our capabilities to sustain international markets”, he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Leadership Excellence
and Personality Development Dr. K. Kuhathasan said that the efforts
taken by the business community to lobby for the GSP+ facility should be
encouraged and congratulated.
“The leaders of the business community in Sri Lanka have always been
in the forefront to win business deals at critical junctures and has
earned the goodwill, trust and confidence of the business community both
locally and globally”, he said.
In the past, they have led several business delegations to the West
and have been very successful in negotiating favourable terms which have
been very beneficial to Sri Lanka, he said.
Today, they have taken very bold, ambitious and courageous steps to
take a very noble and commendable case before the global business
community. I hope that their pioneering efforts will be crowned with
success, he said.
Chairman, Mawbima Foundation Ariyaseela Wickramanayake said that the
decision by the business community to negotiate with the European Union
would help the country to secure the GSP+ facility.
“We need to meet the requirements of quality and good price in our
products to enable the country to export the best products in the global
market. This will enhance our credibility”, he said. The role of the
private sector is to earn money for the country. For this they need
assistance and the GSP+ facility would play a big role in our exports by
generating foreign exchange and employment, he said.
This is a once in a life-time opportunity to change the economy for
the better. We use the bulk of our foreign earnings on imports. If the
country could produce the food items that are imported we would save a
great deal of money and also create market and employment opportunities,
Director, Postgraduates Institute of Management Dr. Uditha Liyanage
said that lobbying for the GSP+ facility is timely. The country as a
whole would be affected if the facility is withdrawn.
The business community’s effort is not only confined to the apparel
sector, but also for the whole country. “The business community has a
key role to play not only by performing but also in thinking. It is
important to have a clear way forward. A clear strategy for each export
sector is necessary. A country’s branding is important to promote the
entire export sector.
We also need to have a clear implementation and performance standard
and the progress should be monitored carefully and regularly, he said.
At a glance
# Additional effort is beneficial - EDB
# Negotiations would help export sector to
secure the GSP+ facility - Mawbima Foundation
# Business community has to play a key role