By Kelum Bandara
Sri Lanka will continue to enjoy the GSP+ facility or tariff free access to the markets of the European Union member-states if it remains a lower middle income country and adheres to international conventions, EU Ambassador Danis Chaibi said when interviewed by Daily Mirror.
He said Sri Lanka had become an upper middle income country in 2019 by crossing the threshold of US$4000 per capita last year, but it fell below this level this year.
“It means, at least for three more years, Sri Lanka will continue to have access to the EU market at a zero per cent tariff rate for two-thirds of its customs line provided it adheres to international conventions and conditions. If Sri Lanka is still a lower middle-income country in 2021, it will have access to GSP+ for 2022, 2023 and 2024, provided all other conditions are met,” Mr. Chaibi said.
He said he admired Sri Lanka’s response to the pandemic and said the country had the lowest death rate in the world. “Well, Sri Lanka has the lowest per capita death rate due to COVID-19 in the world, with Vietnam. We have a lot of admiration for Sri Lanka,” he said.