Sri Lanka exports to EU up 16.3-pct in first quarter 2014

May 08, 2014 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports to the European Union have risen 16.3 percent from a year earlier to 896 million US dollars in the first quarter of 2014, the industry commerce ministry said. “This certainly demonstrates, our commitments in adding value not only to our business partners but also to the consumers in the EU countries.”

The EU withdrew GSP+ benefits to Sri Lanka due over human rights issues making Sri Lankan exports more expensive than earlier.

Europe also went into an economic recession, but has since recovered. Commerce and industry minister Rishad Bathiudeen said total exports to the European Union had rise to 3.27 billion US dollars in 2013 from 2.7 billion US dollars in 2012.

Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the second EU-Sri Lanka Trade Dialogue in Colombo Wednesday organized by the European Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ECCSL).

Of the total exports 60 percent was apparel.

“As a market, the 28 countries in the EU has emerged as the number one export destination for products of Sri Lanka,” he was quoted as saying.

In 2013, the total bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and EU was 4.9 billion US dollars.

“The relationship built on appar