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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 second-largest trading partner after India but its main export destination, absorbing 31 % of Sri Lankan exports in 2015.
  • In 2016, Sri Lanka was the EU's 62nd largest trading partner in goods accounting for 0.1% of EU trade.
  • Pakistani exports to the EU are dominated by textiles and clothing, accounting for 82% of Pakistan's total exports to the EU in 2016.
  • Textiles and clothing account for 61.9% of Sri Lanka's exports to the EU, followed by food products with 12.3% in 2016.
  • EU28 imports from Sri Lanka have been relatively stable between 2007 and 2016, increasing only from €2,087 to €2,225 million.

EU-Sri Lanka: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2014-2016, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2014 2.5 1.3 -1.2
2015 2.6 2.1 -0.5
2016 2.6 1.4 -1.2

EU-Sri Lanka: Trade in services

Trade in services 2013-2015, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2013 0.8 0.5 -0.3
2014 0.9 0.5 -0.4
2015 0.9 0.5 -0.4

EU-Sri Lanka: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2015, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2015 0.1 1.0 1.0

Date of retrieval: 15/02/2017

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.

On 12 July 2016, Sri Lanka applied again for GSP+. On 11 January 2017, the Commission adopted a Delegated Regulation proposing the granting of GSP+ to Sri Lanka. The European Parliament and Council now have until mid-May to examine the delegated act.

Trading with Sri Lanka