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Lanka loses EU trade concession

The Sri Lankan economy could lose billons of rupees after the European Union (EU) officially announced on Thurday that it was withdrawing from August the preferential trade concessions given to the island nation as it failed to respond to a set of human rights-related conditions laid down by the Commission.

world Updated: Jul 06, 2010 00:26 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

The Sri Lankan economy could lose billons of rupees after the European Union (EU) officially announced on Thurday that it was withdrawing from August the preferential trade concessions given to the island nation as it failed to respond to a set of human rights-related conditions laid down by the Commission.

Earlier, the EU had threatened to withdraw the Generalized System of Preference Plus (GSP+) trade concessions saying Sri Lanka was not complying on several international covenants signed by the island.

The EU expressed regret over Sri Lanka's decision to remain silent on the proposals by the EU for Sri Lanka to obtain a temporary extension of the GSP plus benefits by meeting some conditions.

Sri Lanka may lose around hundreds of millions of US dollars in apparel exports a year, due to the end of trade concessions from the European Union from August, a media report quoting an industry official said.

The Sunday Times newspaper quoted A Skukumaran, president of the Joint Apparel Exporters Association (JAAF) an industry body as saying that Sri Lanka faced the loss of about 12 per cent of the annual 3.3 billion US dollars in apparel exports.