A German diplomat told the Colombo Gazette that the process for Sri Lanka to regain GSP plus from the European Union will take some time and is likely to be completed by the end of this year.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the diplomat said that Sri Lanka has to meet some conditions to regain GSP plus and so far it has met some of them.
Meanwhile Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said Sri Lanka is confident of regaining key trade concessions from the EU this year and has counted on Germany for its support.
The Xinhua news agency quoted Karunanayake as saying that President Maithripala Sirisena, who concluded a visit to Germany and Austria last week, had requested support from the German Government to regain GSP plus.
The EU trade concessions was withdrawn from Sri Lanka after Sri Lanka failed to meet certain conditions on human rights issues in 2010 when Mahinda Rajapakse was the president.
However, the new government led by President Sirisena has taken measures to meet the expectations of the international community on human rights issues.
“We are confident of regaining the GSP plus and Germany has agreed to give us its fullest support after President Sirisena’s request,” Karunanayake said.
Meanwhile Karunanayake said that during Sirisena’s Europe visit, the Sri Lankan president had invited investors from both Germany and Austria to invest in the country.
A high level delegation from Austria and Germany would arrived in Sri Lanka in March and May to explore investment opportunities. (Colombo Gazette)