Exporters ready to expand with GSP+ | Sunday Observer

Exporters ready to expand with GSP+

The business community commended the government’s efforts to regain the GSP+ facility which will ensure significant growth in export volumes and value in the next couple of years.

“As exporters, we applaud the efforts by the government and other related parties who worked towards the swing of the vote in our favour.

We have achieved quite a lot and we need to do more to restore the facility. However, this situation is a positive outlook and we look forward to regaining the GSP+ facility soon,” National Chamber of Exporters President Ramal Jasinghe said.

“We need to maximize the opportunity and try and get more benefits from the facility which will enable us to be more competitive among the other players in the world. The regaining the GSP+ facility will lead to export growth in the country and this will have more economic benefits,” he said.

The facility, however, will not be there for ever. Our per capita income will soon reach US $ 4,000 mark and the European Union will consider this factor seriously.

“Therefore, we need to have a concerted plan to gain the maximum out of the facility during the time it is in operation,” he said. “The facility is a window of opportunity and a very welcome step at a time that Sri Lanka is aggressively looking at export expansion and volume growth. As exporters, we are very encouraged and look forward to capitalize on the opportunity,” he said.

We have planned a series of workshops to educate and create awareness among the exports as to how best that the facility would be utilized.

This will lead to achieve positive results and the country could expect the export sector growth through value addition and diversification, Jasinghe said. Meanwhile, the former Joint Apparel Association Forum Secretary General Rohan Masakorala said that the facility will be restored within the next month. “The facility will be restored within the next month as there are technical issues to resolve.

The obstacles have been cleared and we are ready to receive the facility. I am happy that the apparel sector to be a key benefactor of the GSP+ facility,” he said. There was a huge opportunity cost of around US $ 300 million with the loss of the facility and as a country our exports should have grown with product diversification if the facility was there. This is a window of opportunity to regain the loss markets and the buyers. However, this will be a taught task, he said. The country will have a time frame of about 3 to 5 years to remain in the system. There will be a lot of potential for exporters to re-enter the markets with zero tariffs. The re-installment of the facility will enable the apparel products to be more competitive in the global market.

“People have to look at this facility more positively. This development should not be politicized and should not be looked at in political glasses.

The facility will support to create jobs while enhancing investment opportunities and apparel led export growth. I congratulate the government without any hesitation for the hard work they have done, he said.

The motion to deny GSP+ facility to Sri Lanka was defeated at the European Parliament on Thursday.