A delegation of six Members of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) visited Sri Lanka from 4-6 April 2018 to follow up on the country’s commitments made in exchange for access to the European Union (EU) market.
The Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) is of key importance for Sri Lanka’s economy. The INTA delegation was pleased to note that trade between the EU and Sri Lanka is on an upward trajectory following the entry into force of GSP+ last summer, making the EU Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner.
The delegation, chaired by Jan Zahradil, and composed of six INTA Members including the INTA Standing Rapporteur for South Asia, Sajjad Karim, believes that the Government needs to keep the country on the path to reform.
Members said the opportunity to address the remaining issues should not be missed, and highlighted the need to make further progress in implementing the international human rights conventions relevant to GSP+ and further improve labour conditions.
During the three-day visit, the INTA delegation met with the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe and key Parliamentarians including the Speaker of Parliament, the Opposition Leader, the Minister of Law and Order, the Minister of Trade and Development, the Minister of Labour, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
The visit also included discussions with civil society, trade unionists, and representatives of the ILO and the UN, as well as a field visit to the Export Processing Zone in Katunayake. (Colombo Gazette)