Dr. Harsha de Silva, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs told The Sunday Leader Brexit will not have a major impact on Sri Lankan exports to Europe, Sri Lanka’s single largest export market.
“We will not have a major influence from Brexit on our exports as it is taking place in two years time.”
As Sri Lanka is at a stage of harvesting the fruitful results of generalized scheme of preferences (GSP+) with effect from 19 May (Friday), currently there is a possibility to reap the utmost benefits through exporting to Europe within the next two years.
In the realm of regaining GSP+, Sri Lanka could possibly expect the apparel sector to ramp up highlighting the importance of strengthening the backward linkages in the textile industry such as factories and raw materials for the apparel which will probably takes time to develop.
iven the fact that the government has taken steps to grant a lot of investment incentives for instance 100 to 200 per cent allowance, it is believed that people will start setting up factories to manufacture textile, elastics etc with a ray of hope towards further expansions, Dr. Harsha de Silva said.
Further stressing on the foreseeable myriad of benefits that is on our way in the near future, De Silva emphasized that, “currently since there is a 17 per cent tax for exporting fish, I personally see a huge take off in the fisheries sector. When the fisheries ban was taken out, we perceive a 50 per cent increase in overall fish exports around the world. I will not be surprised if this doubles to Europe in the next few months. There’s a huge benefit which will pass on to the people around the country.
Explaining on other potential export sectors heading to robust economic growth, De Silva stressed on the enormous profits that’ll be opening up through footwear by taking out an amount of 15 to 16 per cent duty.
With all the benefits coming on the way through regaining of GSP+, he added that while the apparel could lead, footwear and other sector would follow.
“Along with the high demand that we would be gaining for our products in the international markets, it is crucial to make sure of the fact that we are capable of supplying the sufficient goods to meet the demand,” Dr. Harsha de Silva said.
The European Union last week urged Sri Lanka to start diversifying exports ranging from traditional export items to new products.
“The fact that we have been continuing the exportation of traditional products those introduced in the late 80s and 90s and introducing only seven new products in the past decade in to the export basket as oppose to about forty five new products by countries like Vietnam, it is a clear-cut fact that diversifying the range of products in our export basket is a dire need,” he said.
In diversifying the range of products, the Deputy Minister said that Sri Lanka needs to have the know-how to do so which in fact shows the desperate need of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) through which we will gain access, not only to money but to technology, markets, etc. which is essential.