Thursday, June 1, 2023

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UK continues cooperation with SL opening its market for 80% of products

The United Kingdom opens its market for Sri Lanka to export 80 percent of its products with tariff concessions under new Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) while assuring continuous cooperation to tackle the present crisis.

British State Minister for South Asia, United Nations and the Commonwealth, Lord Tariq Ahmed assured that the government of the United Kingdom looks forward to working with the government of President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to resolve economic and social issues faced by the island nation.

In a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Gunawardena on Tuesday 16 , he exchanged details on the issues faced by Sri Lanka.

Prime Minister Gunawardena briefed him about economic, social and political challenges and the government’s short, medium and long-term steps to solve them and bring relief to the people. Lord Ahmed assured UK’s support to the steps taken in those directions

Meanwhile Sri Lanka is included in the UK’s new Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) which replaces the UK’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP), accessing to the UK market for over 80% of Sri Lankan export products.

“The UK’s new Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) is one of the most generous sets of trading preferences of any country in the world and will benefit Sri Lanka by boosting the economy and supporting jobs,” British High Commissioner Sarah Hulton said.

She said that the DCTS will remove tariffs an over 150 additional products and also it will also simplify some seasonal tariffs, meaning additional and simpler access for Sri Lanka’s exports to the UK.

“The new scheme, which replaces UK GSP, will come into force in 2023 and the UK looks forward to future trading opportunities with Sri Lanka,” she said.

According to the UK’s Department for International Trade the new Trading Scheme applies to 65 countries, offering lower tariffs and simpler rules of origin requirements for exporting to the UK.

Britain has launched a scheme to extend tariff cuts to hundreds of products, such as clothes and food, from developing countries including Sri Lanka, part of London’s post-Brexit efforts to set up systems to replace those run by the European Union.

In June, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wanted to start a new trade system to reduce costs and simplify rules for 65 developing countries to replace the EU’s Generalised System of Preferences, which applies import duties at reduced rates.

Trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the Developing Countries Trading scheme (DCTS) would extend tariff cuts to hundreds more products exported from developing countries, a system, she said, that goes further than the EU scheme.

““UK businesses can look forward to less red tape and lower costs, incentivising firms to import goods from developing countries.”

The DCTS covers 65 countries including Sri Lanka, simplifies rules such as rules of origin, which dictate what proportion of a product must be made in its country of origin, and removes some seasonal tariffs, such as making cucumbers tariff-free in the winter.

Products that are not widely produced in the UK, like olive oil and tomatoes, will also have lower or zero tariffs, making them cheaper to import.

The scheme also simplifies complex trade rules, including so-called rules of origin, making it easier for businesses in countries like Bangladesh to export clothes to the UK.

Duties will also be reduced by 14 per cent on bikes from the South Asian nation, 12 per cent on T-shirts for Cambodia, 12 per cent on baby clothes from Sri Lanka, eight per cent on roses from Ethiopia and eight 8 per cent on onions from Senegal.

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