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Leading News from Sri Lanka::

* Sri Lanka opposition leader says a UNF government will get the GSP+ back
Mon, Mar 29, 2010, 12:09 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe said a UNF government formed after the April 8 general elections will definitely get the European Union's suspended tariff concession, GSP+ facility back by August.

Addressing a public rally in Nikaweratiya Saturday, the opposition leader said by August the exporters of garments and other goods from Sri Lanka will be able to export their products to Europe with the tax concession.

"By August this year, the European market will be in our hands. That means Rs. 500 million," he said.

Wickremasinghe vowed to make way for the country to also enter the Indian market to earn one billion rupees. Thus when the UNF government creates a market valued at 1.5 billion rupees the investors from other countries like Japan, Korea, China and even the United States will seize the opportunity to enter into trade with Sri Lanka, he predicted.

He said his next target is to create 20 investment zones in the country.

The European Union last month decided to withdraw the preferential tariff benefits given to Sri Lanka following an investigation by the European Commission which found that the country fell short in implementing three UN human rights conventions required to receive benefits under the scheme.

However, the EU says the suspension was temporary and will take effect in six months time, giving Sri Lanka extra time to address the problems identified during the EU investigation.

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