By Yohan Perera
The government will work with the employers to pass on an equitable share of the benefits the exporters would gain from GSP Plus to the employees, Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said yesterday.
“The greatest benefit to the people is creation of new jobs. But we will work with the employers to pass on an equitable share of the benefits the exporters gain out of GSP Plus to the employees whenever possible,” Dr. de Silva told a media briefing yesterday.
Elaborating on the future outcome of the UK exiting from the European Union (EU) he said Sri Lanka has initiated unofficial discussions with the UK to work out a plan under which market access could be gained for Sri Lankan exporters.
“The UK is still part of the EU and it will take two years for it to move out. Thereafter, we need to work out a plan for the UK. We have initiated unofficial discussions already,” he said.
Dr. de Silva said GSP Plus will help a range of Sri Lankan export goods to enter the European markets with tax concessions from Saturday, May 20, 2017.
He said items such as prawns would be able to enter the European market without export duty.
“Prawns are subjected to an export duty of 18 percent at the moment but it will be slashed with the GSP Plus status, giving a benefit to the exporters,” Dr. de Silva said.
He further stated along with GSP Plus and the government’s decision to grant a 200 percent depreciation allowance for investments in the North and 100 percent depreciation allowance for investments in the rest of the country would help boost the much-needed investments for the country.