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GSP Plus to be extended globally till 2034

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He said that EU estimates that only 60% of Sri Lankan apparel exports goes to the common market utilizing the GSP Plus scheme while fish exports are only 20%. “These areas need to improve urgently as they are potential areas of growth.”

Commenting on another area he said that the current initiatives by the government towards the renewable energy sector is very encouraging

The Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus is to be extended beyond its 2024 deadline for another 10-year period till 2034 and Sri Lanka is also in the beneficiary countries list to receive this facility. “Sri Lanka shold have positive sentiments twards tis application.”

“Next year there will be discussions on the program in EU Parliament and we will hopefully see the next program published,” said Adviser to the European Commission Nikoloas Zaimis at the European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka hosted webinar on the future of GSP Plus.

“In addition to the present focus areas Human rights, labor laws, environment there are likely to be a new chapter that is likely to be added, Paris agreement on Climate change.”

“There is no automatic transfer from one GSP+ to the next. Beneficiaries like Sri Lanka will have to re apply.”

GSP Plus has been used as a mechanism by the European Union to control domestic policy. Zaimis said, “We have an ongoing relationship. We have discussions with the government all the time.”

Head of the EU Delegation to Sri Lanka Denis Chaibi highlighted the importance of GSP Plus for the economic resilience of the country.

Competitor nations like Bangladesh and Vietnam have seen their sectors grow rapidly. Chaibi said, “Bangladesh exported Euro 6 billion of garments in 2010 and increased by 150% to Euro 16 billion in 2019.”

The GSP+ scheme is awarded to middle income countries which commit to effectively implementing international conventions in areas such as labour rights, human rights, the protection of the environment and good governance.

Sri Lanka applied for and was granted GSP+ in May 2017 and is currently one of only eight countries holding the EU’s GSP+ status.

The GSP+ status granted to Sri Lanka has made a significant contribution to the country’s economy; exports to the EU have increased to EUR 2 billion, making the EU Sri Lanka’s second-largest export market but there is still room for further expanding and diversifying exports.

The current GSP+ programme is in place until the end of 2023 but the European Commission has just submitted a legislative proposal for its renewal for a period of further 10 years.

The GSP+ status granted to Sri Lanka has made a significant contribution to the country’s economy; exports to the EU have increased to EUR 2 billion, making the EU Sri Lanka’s second-largest export market but there is still room for further expanding and diversifying exports.

The current GSP+ programme is in place until the end of 2023 but the European Commission has just submitted a legislative proposal for its renewal for a period of further 10 years.

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