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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has been a major beneficiary of the trading opportunities offered by the Generalised Scheme of Preferences. Since a decision to temporarily withdraw the Generalized System of Preferences Plus benefits in 2010, Sri Lanka has still enjoyed preferential access to the EU market for its key export items to the EU, such as clothing.

Trade picture

  • The EU is Sri Lanka's largest export destination, absorbing 36% of its exports.
  • Textiles and clothing account for more than half of Sri Lanka’s export value with machinery, rubber-based goods, jewellery and agricultural products making up for the rest.

EU-Sri Lanka "trade in goods" statistics

Trade in goods 2011-2013, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2011 2.4 1.4 -1.1
2012 2.6 1.3 -1.3
2013 2.3 1.2 -1.1

More statistics on Sri Lanka

EU and Sri Lanka

Trade relations between the EU and Sri Lanka are governed by a Co-operation and Partnership Agreement that entered into force in April 1995.

Sri Lanka and the EU meet regularly in the format of a Joint Commission, in order to ensure a smooth functioning and implementation of the agreement.

After temporary withdrawal of Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus benefits to Sri Lanka took effect on 15 August 2010, EU imports from Sri Lanka have only benefited from the standard Generalised Scheme of Preferences preferential treatment.  

This means that Sri Lanka still enjoys preferential access to the EU market for its key export items to the EU, such as clothing.

The European Commission remains committed to supporting Sri Lanka in its efforts to tackle the challenges it faces in terms of human rights, and in terms reconstruction and reconciliation in the country.

Trading with Sri Lanka