July 03, 2017 (LBO) – GSP plus eligibility could add 350 million dollars in export revenue to Sri Lanka, while increasing potential for FDI, the minister for industry and commerce said.
“The enhanced market access that Sri Lanka gets from EU GSP+ is very significant,” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen.
“In fact, according to the Department of Commerce under me, 6,200 products from Sri Lanka are benefiting from EU GSP Plus. We believe the increase in annual export revenue from GSP plus to be 350 million dollars or more.”
More FDI was also on the cards, with investors taking advantage of the EU GSP plus tariff concessions, as well as Sri Lanka’s free trade agreements with India and Pakistan, he said.
Bathiudeen was speaking to New Delhi-based Tunisian Ambassador Nejmeddine Lakhal in Colombo, who inquired about the potential for JVs with Tunisian firms.
“Tunisian investors can benefit from joint ventures with Lankan firms exporting to EU, especially since our recent GDP Plus eligibility. Tunisia is closer to EU therefore Tunisian manufacturers cannot go for South Asian markets but by setting up JVs here they can solve this,” he said.
“They can use Sri Lanka’s FTAs with India and Pakistan to export 8,000 products tariff free to these two countries. I and my Ministry are ready to extend our fullest support to Tunisian investors setting up here to exploit these trade facilities.”
Nearly half of Sri Lanka’s exports to Tunisia last year was Ceylon Tea. The main imports from Tunisia to Sri Lanka were electric switches and transformers.