Sri Lanka to get GSP Plus verdict by early January: official

Oct 19, 2009 (LBO) – The European Union will decide whether or not to renew the GSP Plus trade deal with Sri Lanka giving duty free access to EU markets by early January 2010, a senior official said. Bernard Savage, EU head of delegation to Sri Lanka, said the EU investigation report was submitted to the government and the EU Brussels office Monday.

The final decision will be made two months from November 06, according to EU procedure, he told LBO.

That means the EU has to decide by January 6, 2010.

Savage said the investigation report would be under reviewed by the EU till November 06, 2009.

The EU would make recommendations after the review is over, Savage said.

“The investigation report is not a secret; it would be made public within the course of this week,” Savage said.

The GSP Plus system grants tax free entry for Sri Lankan goods to the EU zone, which gives manufacturers an edge over rivals from other countries such as China and India which compete on better economies of scale.

Experts say the garment and ceramic industries would be hit the hardest if Sri Lanka loses its GSP Plus status and thousands of employees could lose their jobs.

The EU inv