Government notes significance of vote on GSP plus

The Government today noted the significance of the outcome of the vote by the EU Parliament on the motion to deny Sri Lanka GSP plus.

International Trade State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said that the outcome of the vote shows the international community accepts the efforts taken by Sri Lanka.

“This is a great victory for the future. This can be seen as a big victory since the end of the war,” he said.

The State Minister said the vote will help Sri Lanka regain GSP plus from the EU which will in turn help Sri Lanka’s exports.

The motion to deny Sri Lanka the GSP plus trade concession was defeated by the EU Parliament yesterday.

Sri Lanka won the vote in Brussels with 436 members voting against the motion, 119 in favor and 22 abstentions.

The Government held urgent talks with several EU Members of Parliament (MEP) ahead of the vote at the EU Parliament.

An EU fact finding delegation had recently raised concerns over labour rights in Sri Lanka ahead of a decision being taken on Sri Lanka’s application for GSP plus.

The Fact Finding Mission, which included Members of the European Parliament Anne-Marie Mineur and Lola Sánchez Caldentey, visited Sri Lanka to assess the country’s progress on human and labour rights.

The European Union will decide next month if Sri Lanka is duly entitled, or not, to be granted GSP plus. This status is a component of the EU policy for developing countries which offers trade incentives to those which implement core international conventions on human and labour rights, sustainable development and good governance. (Colombo Gazette)

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