Sri Lanka’s preferential access to the vital European Union (EU) market faces fresh challenges after the European Parliament’s special resolution adopted in June 2021. The GSP+ is a non-reciprocal trading arrangement whereby Sri Lanka does not have to lower tariffs in return but is required to implement certain non-trade related conventions to benefit from preferential access. The GSP+ arrangement slashes import duties to zero for vulnerable low and lower-middle-income countries that implement 27 international conventions related to human rights, labour rights, environment protection, and good governance. This article assesses the impact of a hypothetical withdrawal of GSP+ on Sri Lanka’s exports to the EU: the largest single trading bloc, with the United Kingdom (UK), accounting for 30% of Sri Lanka’s exports.
Since Sri Lanka regained the EU’s GSP Plus facility last month, there have been varying views on its actual economic benefit to Sri Lanka. This article by Janaka Wijayasiri numerically estimates the export benefit of GSP Plus to Sri Lanka, identifying the leading beneficiaries in the country and their gains.
This article highlights the implications of Britain’s vote to leave the EU, following a tense referendum, not only in the UK but also in rest of the countries.