Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Harsha de Silva, last week, said Sri Lanka’s application seeking the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) plus facility from the European Union (EU) will be filed in a ‘matter of weeks’. Dr. De Silva’s comments came following the meeting between the EU-Sri Lanka Working Group on Trade and Economic Cooperation on Wednesday in Brussels.
“We are now on the final leg of the GSP+ application process. It will be made in a matter of weeks as EU and Sri Lanka are now just about ready except for a few loose ends to be tied up,” the Deputy Minister asserted.
A joint statement released by Sri Lanka and the EU after the crucial meeting said that the Working Group discussed issues related to bilateral trade and investment and possible means for their promotion in a mutual beneficial manner.
“In particular, it discussed Sri Lanka’s intention in applying for GSP+ status under the European Union’s GSP Regulation. It took positive note of the fact that Sri Lanka had made significant progress in addressing outstanding issues towards launching an application, especially relating to the rule of law, democracy, governance and the overall situation pertaining to human and labour rights and environmental protection,” the statement noted.
The meeting was co-chaired by Director General of Commerce, Mrs. Sonali Wijeratne for Sri Lanka and Head of Unit, European Commission Directorate General for Trade, for the EU, Peter Berz.