EDB Chairman Suresh de Mel (left) exchanging the MoU with Swiss Ambassador to Sri Lanka Dominique Furgler
Pic by Pradeedp Pathirana
To increase the reach of Sri Lankan export products in international markets, the Export Development Board signed a memorandum of understanding with the Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO), which operates under the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of Switzerland yesterday.
The objective of the partnership is to better integrate Sri Lanka into world trade.
The SIPPO will facilitate EDB to carry out comprehensive market research studies for selected Sri Lankan export product sectors such as processed food, sustainable fish & seafood, and value-added textiles.
SIPPO will conduct these market research studies through competent international sector experts to provide first-hand information on market access requirements to the member countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and selected EU countries, especially in Eastern Europe.
The proposed market studies will cover the areas of present trade regulations, non-tariff measures & technical regulations, market access requirements, packaging & labeling, quality standards & certifications, trade-related environmental & social requirements, pricing, logistics, information on distribution channels and market demand analysis related to each selected sector for the identified markets in the EU Region.
The sectoral market study reports will also include details of main buyers in identified countries and this will result in Sri Lankan exporters expanding market access and enhancing market share in the European region.
The research findings will be disseminated among Sri Lankan export community and related private and public sector organisations via a series of online sectoral webinars. The reports will also be made available in the EDB website for the benefit of the public. Currently, more than 6,000 products are eligible for zero-duty access to the EU region under EU GSP Plus scheme. Sri Lanka has done US$ 2, 948 million worth exports to the EU region in 2021 which contributed to 24 percent of Sri Lanka’s total export earnings amounting to US$. 12 .2 billion in 2021. Sri Lanka has the potential to expand its market share by entering into new/untapped markets enjoying the zero duty market access offered by the EU GSP Plus Scheme.