Apparel Trade Under Threat Of Losing GSP Facility In 2014
By Chrishanthi Christopher
Last week officials of the Export Development Board, the Europeon Union and the United States gathered under the umbrella of the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) to reassure the exporters here that losing the GSP facility is not the end of the world and that our export industry could still survive.
GSP is only a temporary concession given to countries that are lagging behind in order to get them into the market. Once there, countries should establish their own contacts and markets for further trade said Department of Commerce, Director Nimal Karunathilake.
“We lost the quota system in apparel trade in 2004 and then our GSP+ concessions last year but we are still doing well,” addressing a group of entrepreneurs Karunathilake said.
Sri Lanka stands threatened to lose the GSP facility under the new GSP scheme of the EU coming up in January 2014. The World Bank classifies Sri Lanka as a country which has achieved a high or upper middle per capita income thus disqualifying it for the GSP facility he said.
He called on all exporters to find niche markets and up market chains in order to remain in the export trade with America and the EU.
Commercial US Embassy, Director, Chris Corkey addressing the gathering called on potential exporters to make use of the GSP scheme wisely as the US extends concessions to nearly 35,000 products to 129 countries.
“There is no such thing as a US single market. It differs by region, age sex, race. Its six times zone over 50 states,” said Corkey encouragingly.
Office of EU Delegation, Head of Politics & Trade, Roshan Lyman spoke on the EU policy for 2012 and the EU policy of uplifting the developing nations in the world by granting trading concessions.
The Sri lanka Export Development board and the Ministry of External Affairs officials spoke on the facilities available to industries for trading in Europe and the USA.