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GSP Plus boosts Sri Lanka’s apparel exports

With GSP Plus, Sri Lanka hopes for a further $400 million in revenues from apparel exports to the European Union. The country has regained the GSP Plus that was lost in 2010. Last yearm Lanka’s apparel exports totaled $4.8 billion and in the first six months of this year they stood at $2.7 billion. Sri Lanka's export basket has not changed much since the 1990s.

If Sri Lanka is to substantially increase export revenues, diversifying to new sectors is the key to success. Similarly diversification of markets is also a priority for Sri Lanka. While the UK is currently an important market for Sri Lanka, with Brexit becoming a reality, Sri Lanka will immensely benefit if it also focuses attention on accessing non-traditional markets among the EU countries. This will not only cushion the potential negative impact of Brexit on Sri Lanka but will also help contribute towards the country’s target of doubling its export revenues.

The EU aims to support Sri Lanka’s economic growth by launching a series of initiatives which includes support to design and implementing a coherent trade strategy for export competitiveness, support for trade policy development and regulatory reforms, enhancement of Sri Lanka's WTO trade negotiations capacity, support Sri Lanka's regional integration process and help Sri Lanka maximize the use of the EU GSP Plus scheme.