The country’s readmission to the General System of Preferences plus (GSP +) scheme in 2017 has been highly beneficial to Lankan exporters and also in strengthening the export earnings since the European Union (EU) has become Sri Lanka’s major export destination, Sri Lanka and the Maldives Ambassador of the European Union Tung-Lai- Margue said.
The European Union Ambassador expressed these views at the 27th Annual Export Awards conducted by the National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) for 2019, under the theme `Strengthening Governance for Sustainability’ recently in Colombo.
He further highlighted the strong support given by the EU to strengthen Sri Lanka’s export sector elaborating that the EU- Sri Lanka Trade Related Assistance Project highly assist the country’s small and medium enterprises to increase their competitiveness to a greater extent.
Board of Investment Chairman Mangala Yapa highlighted the invaluable services rendered by Sri Lankan exporters and said it was appreciable to witness that Sri Lankan exporters play a pivotal role to expand the export sector with the objective of prospering the country’s economy.
Yapa also cautioned that Lankan exporters still faced competition as well as challenges in the global market and to meet such challenges enterprises and the economy as a whole needed to adopt to reforms.
Talking about the setting up of Export Zones in the future, Yapa said by 2020 BOI will be able to set up many export zones in areas such as Bingiriya, Wagawatta, Hambantota and several other places in the country.
He said setting up more Export Zones was vital not only to improve the country’s economy, but also to provide large number of employment opportunities to the country’s youth. Yapa said the operations of the Bingiriya Export Processing Zone will commence before the end of this year with the investment of USD 64 million.
“99 percent work of the Hambanto Export Zone is over by now and we wish to set up two petroleum refinery plants there,” he said.
Yapa added that a rubber factory will be set up in the Wagawatta industrial park where rubber products could be manufactured including tyres.