Implementing international conventions only criteria for GSP Plus: EU

Jan 18, 2017 (LBO) – European Union today reiterated that the ratification and implementation of 27 international conventions signed by Sri Lanka are the only criteria to rejoin the Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+).

The delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and Maldives said these conventions relate to international human rights, labour rights, environmental standards and good governance.

“Benefitting from GSP+ requires the government to undertake to make further progress in implementing the conventions and to cooperate with the EU to monitor implementation and address shortcomings,” a statement said.

“More generally, the European Union supports the leadership shown by this government in committing to address historic and long-standing problems that have caused conflict and negatively affected the lives and living standards of all Sri Lankans.”

This includes the undertakings made, for instance, in the resolution that Sri Lanka co-sponsored at the UN Human Rights Council, the delegation said.

The European Union said it is working with the government and civil society organisations to structure our support and engagement to positively contribute to the government’s national reconciliation and good governance aims.

The EU is Sri Lanka’s biggest export market, accounting for nearly one-third of Sri Lanka’s global exports and in 2015, total bilateral trade amounted to 4.7 billion euros.

The GSP+ scheme is designed to help developing countries by granting full removal of tariffs on over 66 percent of tariff lines covering a very wide array of products including, for example, textiles and fisheries.

The GSP Regulation sets strict and clear criteria for granting GSP+.

There are currently 8 GSP+ beneficiaries; Armenia, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Paraguay and the Philippines.