The European Union (EU) is Sri Lanka s number one trading partner with imports and exports valued at Euro 3.55 billion, or 23.3 percent of Sri Lanka s total trade said Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Bernard Savage.
He was speaking at the AMCHAM January luncheon meeting which was held recently.
He said that Sri Lanka s exports to the EU amounted to Euro 2.24 billion, both products and services, which represented 38 percent of Sri Lanka s total exports. The European Union is Sri Lanka s second largest import partner next to India, with imports valued at Euro 1.31 billion, or 14 percent of total imports.
Exports of garments and textiles to the European Union accounted for more than 54 percent of the value of Sri Lankan exports amounting to Euro 1.17 billion. The growth in the trade between the two countries was due to the GSP Plus concessions granted by the EU. EU hopes that Sri Lanka will be able to rectify and put in place certain issues which would enable it to continue benefiting from the GSP Plus scheme, he said.
The EU s role in Sri Lanka has always been to support programs that have a development dimension and that which gives greater confidence and more opportunities to local businesses, especially SMEs, attract new investment and build strong regional markets.
It is an approach he said that the EU believes will assist even the smallest of companies to eventually participate in global trade, he said.