50% of total exports to EU with GSP+ facility last year | Daily News

50% of total exports to EU with GSP+ facility last year

Working on achieving US$ 18.5 bn export earnings target for 2019
Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama at the event. Picture by Ruwan De Silva
Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama at the event. Picture by Ruwan De Silva

Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama on Monday said 2018 was a record year for exports.

The country achieved US$ 17 billion in merchandise and services exports. “For 2019, we are working hard towards reaching US$ 18.5 Billion, despite the multiple setbacks the country has faced.

This is still good given that it will be a 30% increase from what was achieved in 2015. Despite tragic incidents like the Easter Sunday bombings and despite a lot of global challenges like the trade tensions around the world, our exporters have done well and remained resilient,” he told a seminar on ‘Sri Lanka’s Exports to the EU: Impact of GSP plus’ in Colombo.

The Minister said, with the resumption of GSP+ the value of Sri Lanka’s total exports to the EU market in 2018 has recorded a growth of 5%, from 2017. With GSP plus concessions, the country’s exports sector has done better.

There has been impressive export growth in the months following the re-gaining of GSP+ in 2017 Sri Lanka’s exports to the EU have since then increased by more than over 20% until now.

Since the resumption of GSP Plus concessions, the value of Sri Lanka’s total exports to the EU market in 2018 has recorded a growth of 5% compared to 2017. As a result of the regaining of GSP Plus concessions, Sri Lanka’s GSP-utilized exports recorded a notable year-on-year growth of 10.1% last year and a 50% of total exports to EU utilized the GSP facility in 2018.

The Overall utilization of GSP Plus preferences has increased marginally from 54.8 % in 2017 to 58.1% in 2018.

“Export development is a top priority of our Government, and it is now anchored by the ‘National Export Strategy’ being implemented since last year, with the funding support of the EU and the technical support of the ITC in Geneva,” the Minister added.

He said, the government has embarked on a range of policy reforms over the last three years to support the transformation of the economy towards more trade, exports, and Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).

Among the reforms are the introduction of anti-dumping law (to protect our domestic industries from unfair competition from abroad), National Export Strategy and National Quality Infrastructure Strategy (to help domestic firms to compete with the rest of the world).

“We also introduced Sri Lanka’s first Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy to foster a climate for new high-tech products and services to emerge and also for start ups to thrive. These initiatives won’t just benefit current exporters but will benefit emerging and aspiring exporters among our domestic enterprises.”

A delegation from Brussels visiting Sri Lanka was also present.

The Minister said they had successful discussions over the last few days. He thanked the EU for their continued support.


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