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Sri Lanka has trade surplus with European Union – CBSL

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It was disclosed at the Sectoral Oversight Committee on International Relations that Sri Lanka has a trade surplus with the European Union. The officials representing the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) disclosed these facts to the Committee while making a presentation on trade relations between GSP Plus, Europe and North American regions.

The CBSL officials presented information regarding the current status of trade relations between GSP Plus, Europe and North American regions which was discussed at length during the Committee meeting. This was discussed at the Sectoral Oversight Committee on International Relations held on September 19 Chaired by Parliamentarian, Namal Rajapaksa.

The Committee also provided an opportunity to a group of youth delegates to present their suggestions and concerns to the Committee. In response, it was stated that even though Sri Lanka is blessed with graphite and other minerals, the country remains to be a low performer in value added mineral exports. Adding to that, the youth representatives stated that though Sri Lanka consists of the Ragedara Mine, Bogala Graphite Mine and Kahatagaha Mines, there is no value addition and it is confined only to direct mining and exporting.

Responding to that, the Committee Chair Namal Rajapaksa said that SLINTEC is working closely with LOLC for further development and discussions have taken place with South Korean and Japanese technology companies to establish their plants in the country. Even though it is not on a fast track as expected, the Committee Chair stated that the respective authorities are looking at developing the sector by getting the industries involved to create a market. Moreover, the Committee was of the view that the ‘Single Window System’ needs to be systemized for better performance.

The Committee pointed out that numerous approvals need to be obtained prior to BOI approving an investor. Furthermore, it was pointed out the process of granting approvals need to be reconsidered depending on zoning. It was also pointed out that the reason for the failing of the ‘Single Window System’ is not necessarily due to the inefficiency of officials or the Government, but because of certain legislations overlaps creating gaps in the process. In effect, the Committee held that certain laws need to be revisited and amended.

The Committee further acknowledged that a mechanism needs to be set out to address the cost of production and technological issues pertaining to exporting various Products.

The Committee Chair stated that even though certain products have a demand even within the local market, there is no continuity in the supply chain. As a result, the price increase which cause the buyer to stop purchase.

The Committee pointed out to the officials present that the high cost of production is a concern and that officials need to look into setting out a mechanism to address the issue.

The Committee Chair instructed the officials to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to recruit those who are willing to provide their services on a voluntary basis until permanent solutions are implemented for the shortage of employees in the Sri Lankan missions. In order to further strengthen the trade relations between Europe and North American regions, the Committee elaborated on the importance of extensive involvement of the relevant officials working in Sri Lankan missions.

Thereafter, the Chair instructed the officials to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take the necessary steps for that without delay.

Members of Parliament Prof. G.L. Peiris, Niroshan Perera, Yadamini Gunawardena, Madhura Withanage and Chandima Weerakkody by the approval of the Chair were present at the Committee meeting. Officials representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CBSL, the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka and Immigration and Emigration Department were present at the Committee meeting. Several youth representatives were also present at the Committee meeting at the invitation of its Committee Chair.

The post Sri Lanka has trade surplus with European Union – CBSL appeared first on DailyNews.

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