Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana who is on his first official visit to the European Union Headquarters in Brussels held discussions with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and European Commissioner Christos Stylianides. The Foreign Minister was accompanied by Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Dr. Harsha De Silva, Ambassador to the European Union Rodney Perera and senior officials.
The Foreign Minister conveyed appreciation to the European Union for restoration of the GSP+ facility to Sri Lanka. It was noted that as the EU is Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner with an annual trade turnover of over USD 5 billion and that the GSP+ facility would provide for a significant increase in Sri Lanka’s exports to the EU market. At the meeting the European Commission announced that an additional sum of Euro 40 million will be allocated shortly for trade facilitation and to support Sri Lanka’s reconciliation efforts.
The EU High Representative and Commissioner Stylianides welcomed the significant improvements that have taken place in Sri Lanka since the election of the new Government and expressed their confidence in the ability of the Government to continue to honour commitments arising from GSP+ requirements despite the apparent slow progress in some areas of concern.