The Sunday Leader

GSP+ Recovery Process Begins Tomorrow

Brussels taskforce to arrive in Colombo After months of speculation, the European Union has announced that the GSP Plus recovery process will begin with the arrival of the EU Trade Working Group (TWG) in Colombo tomorrow, March 23. The discussions will begin on Tuesday, March 24, says David Daly, EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka.

“GSP Plus is not something that we can tick-off as an achievement under the 100-Day program and is not a simple exercise. GSP Plus is about Sri Lanka’s compliance with 27 international conventions. I am pleased to inform you that the EU Trade Working Group (TWG), a senior delegation on GSP Plus, led by a very senior trade official of EU, will be here from Monday, March 23 onwards and the GSP Plus discussions will start on Tuesday, March 24. We should celebrate that through next week’s TWG, we have started the discussion process,” said  the EU Ambassador David Daly in Colombo.

The EU envoy made these observations at a discussion with Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce on March 18 at the Export Development Board.

“The EU-Lanka trade relationship is a very healthy one and we want to make this even better. At this moment, the EU is in discussion on Sri Lanka GSP Plus issue. EU GSP+ demands a lot of close cooperation over many months to come. GSP Plus is about Sri Lanka’s compliance with 27 international conventions on Human Rights – including torture, harassment, media freedom and civil & political rights guaranteed by these conventions! It’s a very wide agenda

When at the final stage, when the EU is asked to make up its mind about Lanka GSP Plus and decide, it will again consider the developed ground situation here up to that moment and the day-to-day realities across all these 27 aspects in the country like taking a photo snapshot of each of them – and construct it and review it.

If all ‘snapshots’ are positive then there will be no problems in GSP+ recovery. If any of these aspects seem to be negative, then it will affect the process. It’s therefore very, very important to work with EU over a long period to monitor how positive or negative these ‘snapshots’ would be,” said the EU envoy.

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