GSP Plus boosts SL apparel exports to EU by $1.67 bn
GSP Plus has delivered its most prominent success for Sri Lankan exports to-date since its announcement, said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen addressing the launch event of the third edition of Intex South Asia 2017 in Colombo yesterday.
“As a result of regaining GSP Plus, our apparel exports from January to September this year has increased by 11.3% to US $ 1.67 billion,” the Minister said.
“It is also an indication of how we are integrated to the global trading system. SL apparel industry is important for our economy and is important for integration of Sri Lanka with the global trading system and the rest of South Asia. But there is more to be done. There are many opportunities in the value chain in the region that we have not taken. This type of events will lead to closer integration with South Asian countries.”
“Our apparel exports to EU have increased by only 2% from January to September 2016 in comparison to the same period in 2015. After receiving EU GSP Plus, our apparel exports to EU from January to September this year compared the same period last year at US $ 1.5 billion, has increased by a huge 11.3% to US $ 1.67 billion.”
“Even though US market is not connected to EU GSP our apparel exports to US too has increased this year by 12% to $ 1.8 billion (in January to September). I am also pleased to say that our overall apparel exports to all countries this year from January to September increased by 13.4% to US $ 3.97 billion in comparison to the same period last year at US $ 3.5 billion. We believe this growth trend would continue and therefore expect even better performance next year.”
In 2016, Sri Lanka’s apparel exports were at US $4.86 bn, claiming 43% of total Sri Lankan exports basket of that year.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called for more events like Intex as a way for Sri Lanka’s integration with the region. “Intex is the largest textile sourcing exhibition in the region,” said PM Wickremesinghe. Having completed two previous fairs in 2015 and 2016 in Colombo, Intex has now become the largest and sole international textile sourcing event in South Asia for yarns, apparel fabrics, and accessories.