Business Times

Seafood exporters appeal for GSP+

By Natasha Gunaratne

A delegation of seafood exporters from Sri Lanka appealed to the European Commission that non-extension of GSP+ facilities may result in a fallout on the industry. The delegation led by Secretary of Sri Lanka Seafood Exporters’ Association and CEO of Global Seafood Prabash Subasinghe said that the current GSP+ utilization by Sri Lanka in the seafood export sector is 99.3%, which is a clear success story not only for Sri Lanka but also for the GSP+ scheme, according to a press release by the Sri Lankan embassy in Belgium.

Seen here Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha and participants

Mr. Subasinghe also emphasized that there had been a 200% increase in the supplies from the Eastern Province alone and that exporters were presently investing considerable resources to revive processing centres in the region.

The press release also noted that at a presentation on the seafood industry in Sri Lanka held on the sidelines of the European Seafood Exposition, the world’s largest B2B seafood fair held in Brussels at the end of April 2010, Sri Lankan ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Ravinatha Aryasinha said the fisheries sector today had become a key source of livelihood to the people of the North and East and it was the expectation of the government that the region provided considerable scope for expansion of seafood exports industry capacity which could serve as an engine of growth in an area which had seen little development in the recent past.

It said Europe accounts for 70% of Sri Lanka’s seafood exports, a relatively small scale industry to the Sri Lankan economy but one

that employs over one million people directly or indirectly in the fisheries sector. Ensuring free market access to Sri Lankan seafood products was a tangible way for Europe to help in the economic recovery in the North and East.

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