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European Parliament team visits Sri Lanka to review EU GSP plus progress

A team European Parliament Committee on International Trade will visit Sri Lanka soon to review the current status in the implementation of 27 UN conventions on good governance, human and labour rights, and the environment in order to continue the EU GSP plus scheme.



The team will submit their report to European Parliament and Council of ministers for its assessment on the overall policy situation, security and judiciary measures as well as the repercussions of recent 52 day political crisis relating to stability of the country, EU Ambassador in Sri Lanka Tung-Lai Margue said.

Sri Lanka will be subjected to stringent monetary mechanism of the European Union (EU) on the government’s efforts to meet the requirements to reap GSP plus benefits in the first or second quarter this year.

The continuation or the withdrawal of the facility will depend on the outcome of this monitoring and assessment process, he revealed.

The European Union (EU) has voiced concern on the slowdown in the progress of the government’s far reaching reforms and its commitments made to regain General System of Preferences (GSP Plus) facility.

There was a significant acceleration in fulfilling major obligations under GSP plus during the early period of the good governance government which took office in 2015 , but it has retarded during the recent past , EU Ambassador said.

The Government has set out a programme of major reforms to address reconciliation and accountability, democracy, the rule of law, better governance and economic development in accordance with its commitments made to EU.

A key development in the EU-Sri Lankan trade relations was the re-grant of GSP plus to Sri Lanka by the EU in May 2017.

GSP plus provides duty free access to the EU market for Sri Lankan products on 66 percent of the EU tariff lines representing around 6000 products, he disclosed.

The government has taken resolute steps to ratify and implement 27 UN conventions on good governance, human and labour rights, and the environment in order to re-enter the scheme.

(LI NEWS)

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