Sri Lanka faced a major setback in fish exports due to the EU ban and the removal of GSP Plus.
The fish exports from Sri Lanka went down drastically and we lost our market share to our competitors in Maldives, Vietnam and Indonesia. It was not only the seafood exporters that were affected due to this EU ban and removal of GSP Plus it did also effect the chain of people that were involved down the line from the fishermen and their families, the boat owners that was a link to the fishery exports.
The GSP Plus will help us to increase the export volumes, bring in additional revenue to the country and once again we will be placed in the threshold of being the number one tuna exporter from Asia to the EU.
After the lifting of the EU fishery ban for Sri Lanka, GSP Plus was the next big thing that SEASL expected to come. Sri Lanka became eligible to apply for this facility after the EU ban was lifted.
The Government of Sri Lanka worked hard on the application process and SEASL with its members were confident that the Government of Sri Lanka will receive a positive response from EU Commission and we will be successful in getting the GSP + back in 2017 and this we have accomplished today. This is going to be a complete game changer in the region. The team that worked hard to lift the EU ban continued with the same spirit to bring about a truly international seafood export industry in Sri Lanka.
The Government of Sri Lanka, The Department of Commerce and the Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka and other related agencies worked round the clock to do the balance to meet, what was expected to come was the GSP Plus.
GSP Plus will pave a way for increased exports with zero duty access and will help the country to realize the dream of the Sri Lankan Government to achieve 1.5 billion seafood exports within the next four years.