EU requests transparent tender procedures in Sri Lanka

Feb 02, 2017 (LBO) – A European Union delegation has called for transparent tender procedures to ensure that companies from the EU can also bid for Sri Lankan government tenders.

A meeting was organised by the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and the Development Strategies and International Trade Ministry to address outstanding matters concerning investors from the European Union.

“The Sri Lanka Government was seeking the possibility of setting up a central portal where planned projects would be listed,” the BOI statement said.

Both sides also discussed matters relating to customs including facilitation and also a clear definition of what constitutes “used cars”.

The Union delegation brought to the attention of the Sri Lanka side specific instances of companies that needed assistance. For instance, the question of colour coding of food sugar levels was raised by the EU side.

The European Union delegation was led by Ambassador of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Tung Lai Margue. Minister Malik Samarawickrama thanked the EU for recommending that the GSP+ facility be restored and the end of the ban on Sri Lanka’s fisheries products.

The Minister said the country will also focus on developing and strengthening the three ports, Colombo,Trincomalee and Hambantota and four major airports at Colombo, Hambantota, Hingurakgoda and Palali.He said that there will be important opportunities for investors from the European Union to look at in the future.

Among the other reforms that the Minister spoke of were changes which would be implemented in next few months, the establishment of a single window for investment whereby investors would obtain approval for their projects within a time frame of just two weeks by March 2017.

Ambassador Tung Lai Margue stated that the EU Sri-Lanka dialogue is a useful tool both to attract new investors and help those already in the country.

Ambassador Margue added that the EU imported an estimated US 1.6 billion dollars worth of garments and also was involved in building up further economic ties with Sri Lanka such as new EU funded trade, lifting the fisheries ban and working towards the restoration of new GSP+ benefits for Sri Lanka.

The Ambassador also stated that one very positive aspect of GSP+ agreement was its potential for bringing about backward integration that will help in the manufacture of yarn in Sri Lanka which is needed by Sri Lanka apparel manufacturers for their production.