Connect with us

Business

Sri Lanka can’t afford to lose EU’s GSP+ concession at this stage: trade expert

Published

on

by Sanath Nanayakkare

Dr. Dayaratna Silva, International Trade Expert and Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said recently that those who assumed that Sri Lanka could do without EU’s GSP+ concessions at this stage were mistaken.

“When it happened the last time, GDP declined by more than 1% and it had an impact on employment levels, particularly in the apparel industry,” he said.

“Studies show that developed countries taking the decision to remove trade concessions based on non-economic reasons leads to punishing the poor and creating problems in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals such as poverty alleviation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Suresh de Mel Chairman of Export Development Board (EDB) speaking at the same forum said that Sri Lanka must do its best to retain the existing concessions made available to Sri Lankan exporters.

Hemantha Perera, Secretary of the Sri Lanka Chamber of Garment Exporters, a constituent member of Joint Apparel Association Forum said that Sri Lanka’s apparel industry must increase the value addition to its exports to the EU from the current 52 per cent to 65 per cent quickly if the industry wants to utilize the fullest extent of the GSP+ benefits.

“Vertical integration in Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is one of the quickest ways to do that,” he said.

The three speakers made these remarks while speaking at a panel discussion, ‘GSP Plus; Past, Present and Future’, hosted by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka and the Colombo Chamber of Commerce.

Perera noted that certain fabrics used for apparel production are currently being imported from regions that disqualify the manufactured product for tariff reductions under the EU’s GSP+ concessions. He noted that this disqualification could be resolved via local production of such inputs.

Speaking further he said: “Fabric is a key raw material required for apparel production. Synthetic fabric often has to be imported to Sri Lanka, making them ineligible for GSP+ concessions to the EU,” Perera said. “However, developments such as the Eravur Fabric Processing Park can change this situation and allow the industry to make greater utilization of GSP+ to the EU, which is our second-largest market.”

“We currently lack infrastructure for functions such as dyeing and printing. These are vital in improving key indicators such as lead times and strengthening the output potential of the industry. Even at present, our competitiveness primarily depends on factors like ethical manufacturing practices, compliances and the high skill levels of our employees,” he said.

The other speakers at the event included the Ambassador of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives – Denis Chaibi, and Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the European Union – Grace Asirwatham.

The Joint Apparel Associations Forum said that it has been working with the government and companies in the industry to develop solutions to increase value addition into apparel; the setting up of the Fabric Processing Park at Eravur is the first step, achieved with consistent government support, JAAF said.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

Integrated solid waste management initiative coupled with tree plantation launched at Hambantota Port

Published

on

The ceremony to mark the programme was held at the port premises under strict health and safety protocols, with a limited number of staff attending.

 Hambantota International Port launched its first integrated solid waste management initiative on Monday 11th on the Company Day of China Merchants Group (CMG), the parent company of CM Port. The initiative is a strategic approach to sustainably manage biodegradable solid waste. The process covers the source, generation, segregation, transfer, sorting, treatment, recovery and disposal of waste in an integrated manner.

 “The idea is to collect all biodegradable material including garbage from vessels calling at the port that can be converted into compost, and process it.  The processed product will be used as manure for trees that will be planted within the Port and Industrial zone,” says Jeevan M. Premasara, Senior General Manager HR & Admin at HIP.

Members of staff at Hambantota Port planting trees.

The launch of the sustainability drive under the theme ‘Healing the Environment’ coinciding with CMG’s company day, was done under the leadership of CEO Johnson Liu. The program also includes the planting of 500 trees of different varieties, recommended by the Hambantota dry zone Botanical gardens. Twenty-five trees were planted as part of phase 1 of the project, and the port plans to grow and nurture endemic trees that will enrich the biodiversity of the industrial zone and port premises.

“As we launch the first phase of this tree planting and waste management/recycling projects, we will take into consideration planting different types of endemic plants that will thrive in the sandy soil of the Hambantota area in the next phases of the project.  Apart from that, we understand the importance of proper waste management systems and hope to partner with the district’s main waste recycling projects in the future.  As we expand into various industries in the zone, we hope to make our surroundings greener and environmentally friendly, bringing us closer to our goal of becoming an entirely green port,” added the Senior General Manager HR & Admin.

 HIP’s global partner CMPort’s parent company, CMG’s company day commemorated 149 years of sustainable operations this year.  CMG, which is involved in numerous projects to protect and sustain the environment, spreads its sustainability mission across all its members, partners and associate organisations. The ‘Healing the Environment’ project undertaken by HIP is an extension of their international partner’s sustainability drive.

 The ceremony to mark the programme was held at the port premises under strict health and safety protocols, with a limited number of staff attending.

Members of staff at Hambantota Port planting trees.

Continue Reading

Business

Douglas & Sons Great Place to Work® Certified

Published

on

Douglas & Sons (Pvt) Ltd (DSL) announced that it is certified as a Great Place to Work® by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work® in Sri Lanka. DSL earned this distinction based on extensive ratings received by its employees in an anonymous survey that was conducted by Great Place to Work®.

Commenting on the certification Saroj Perera, Chairman/Managing Director of Douglas & Sons (Pvt) Ltd said, “We are extremely proud to receive this certification, as it comes amidst a challenging time for businesses in general, when there is a considerable amount of pressure put on both employees and employers to perform at very high levels. We believe that our employees are our strongest asset, and this certification further reconfirms that we are certainly an employer of choice, enabling our employees to reach their full potential, whilst contribution to the growth of the company.”

“We applaud DSL for seeking employees’ feedback and the opportunity to certify itself,” said Kshanika Ratnayake, CEO of Great Place to Work® in Sri Lanka. “These ratings measure its capacity to earn its own employees’ trust and create a great workplace – critical metrics that anyone considering working for or doing business with DSL should take into account as an indicator of high performance.”

“According to the Great Place to Work® study, 92% percent of (total number of employees 372) employees say we are a great workplace,” said, Rohan Ariyawansa, Senior General Manager – Human Resources. “345 of our employees completed surveys, resulting in a 95 percent confidence level and a margin of error of ± 5.”

Douglas & Sons (Pvt) Ltd was established in 1986 with a vision to deliver excellence across the board and has today grown into a strong, diversified conglomerate with a passion for innovation that cares for the environment in the markets in which it operates. Its diversity and close ties with stakeholders in all key aspects of the economy forms the bedrock of its success in the country. Its access to key global players enables it to display and market Internationally reputed auto parts, tires, batteries and agricultural implements funnelled through its island-wide network of dealers.

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, including Best Workplaces lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures.

Continue Reading

Business

“DFCC Bank’s new ‘Auto Loan’ scheme provides affordable avenues for purchasing your dream vehicle”

Published

on

In its latest step to drive economic and social value creation, DFCC Bank, the pioneer in commercial banking, announced the launch of the ‘DFCC Auto Loan’ facility, an innovative vehicle loan scheme that enables greater affordability for consumers interested in purchasing automobiles.

The new DFCC Auto loan initiative introduces loan facilities of up to LKR 10 Mn, with an extended payment period. The facility provides the borrower with leverage to afford a vehicle of their choice, through a structured repayment plan, inclusive of a residual value. It also includes an embedded rollover option that enables the client to continue the loan for an extra few years without settling the residual at the end of the loan period subject to a maximum overall tenure of 8 years. The borrower thereby receives the option of settling the residual by disposing the current vehicle and obtaining a fresh loan for a new vehicle, instead. The prime goal of the loan scheme is to enable customers to buy their dream vehicle, through an affordable monthly instalment plan with reduced risk and an increased loan period.

The loan facility will be applicable only for all cars, vans, SUVs and double cabs that customers choose to purchase.

DFCC Bank firmly believes that it is of paramount importance to enhance the affordability of vehicles as a path towards uplifting the standard of living, while securing economic growth and the financial stability of its customers. The lack of access to affordable customer-centric loan facilities, and severely restricted cash flows due to stagnant economic conditions in light of the pandemic, have proved to be a significant hurdle in the path of economic development. Having noted the existing economic issues faced by customers, DFCC Bank’s ‘Auto Loan’ scheme, which extends to a significant portion of society, stands to have notable positive outcomes for all stakeholders involved.

Continue Reading

Trending