EU GSP Plus Relief in Jeopardy as Sri Lanka Refuses to Withdraw Anti-Terrorism Act, Warns Harsha

Sri Lanka's eligibility for the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) plus relief granted by the European Union (EU) is in question due to the government's refusal to withdraw the Anti-Terrorism Act. This was the warning issued by Dr. Harsha De Silva, Colombo District Member of Samagi Jana Balavega, during a parliamentary session.

According to De Silva, six Asian countries, including Sri Lanka, have to reapply for GSP relief after the EU ended the scheme. However, he cautioned that Sri Lanka may not receive the relief if the government does not withdraw the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The EU will decide on the countries that will receive GSP relief from 2024 to 2033. De Silva explained that there are 27 agreements in the EU for this purpose.

If Sri Lanka fails to secure the GSP plus relief, it will have a significant impact on the country's economy. The GSP plus relief enables Sri Lankan exporters to sell their products to the EU at a reduced tariff rate, providing a vital boost to the country's economy.