Central Bank Governor unperturbed amid threat of GSP+ loss

[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 July 2010, 00:24 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that Sri Lanka will march ahead towards prosperity with or without the much hyped Generalized System of Preferences (GSP +) concession. Cabraal was quoted in the state owned Dinamina Sinhala daily as saying, “for 30 years, Sri Lanka was plagued by a war, today this is over, and in the years to come we will see economic and general development in the country.”

A determined Cabraal noting that certain sectors are pressuring Sri Lanka over the GSP concession, added, “Sri Lanka would enjoy development both economically and infrastructure wise with or without the GSP plus concession, and thus the country did not have to fear any large scare economic catastrophes due to the suspension.”

Cabraal noted that Sri Lanka is now seeing fresh investments in the country from highly placed foreign investors over the past months since the conclusion of the presidential and parliamentary elections, and thus good times are ahead for the country despite certain setbacks such as the GSP plus withdrawal or the recently appointed controversial United Nation panel.

“Foreign investors have confidence with the Sri Lankan government, and are investing in Sri Lanka,” Cabraal said.

Cabraal also discounted rumours that Sri Lanka was going to lose investment opportunities and other long term benefits due to the suspension of the GSP concession.

Meanwhile, the British clothing retailer, NEXT, said early this month that the company is stopping sourcing garments from Sri Lanka because of the uncertainty of the continuance of the GSP+ duty concession from the European Union. NEXT has moved production to Bangladesh, an industry source told local media.

Further, exports to the EU fell 13% in the first quarter of 2010, a decline the Sri Lankan garment industry attributes to falling demand due to the economic conditions there. Garments are Sri Lanka’s largest foreign exchange earner.


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