Import restrictions are reviewed as we move along, Foreign Minister tells EU Delegation

Nov 20, 2020 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena emphasizes that the current import restrictions are reviewed as the country moves along.

During a recent discussion with the Foreign Minister, the Ambassadors of Italy, Germany, Netherlands, France, Romania and the EU Delegation based in Colombo sought clarifications regarding the recent import restrictions that were enforced and the likely timeframe the restrictions would be lifted.

Foreign Minister Gunawardena has explained the challenges Sri Lanka was facing on its economy and the foreign currency reserves due to the significant reduction in remittances and tourism revenues induced by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

However, he has underlined that the import restrictions are reviewed as we move along.

During the discussion, the EU Ambassadors have reaffirmed their desire to continue to further strengthen bilateral relations with Sri Lanka with a special focus on further advancing trade, investment and tourism sector cooperation.

The Ambassadors highlighted that Sri Lanka’s exports to the EU market worth EUR 2.3 billion, continued to grow and benefit from the EU GSP+, which allows duty free access for over 6,000 export product categories.

Minister Gunawardena has appreciated the assistance provided by the EU countries to Sri Lanka for economic and social recovery from COVID-19 pandemic, including the continued assistance for several development projects, particularly in the education, skills development, agriculture, and dairy development and water supply sectors and in investments with the private sector.

The Foreign Minister also assured that Sri Lanka was committed to achieving the SDGs and to addressing issues related to reconciliation through a credible domestic process.

The Ambassadors appreciated the cordial, open and continued dialogue between the EU member states and Sri Lanka on a number of issues of shared interest.

Related: European Union Delegation warns Sri Lanka over prolonged import ban