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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

On 19 May 2017 the EU granted Sri Lanka better access to the EU for its exports.  It did so under the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+).

Being able to export more to the EU will help Sri Lanka's economy develop and create more and better jobs for its people. 

The GSP+ scheme is conditional on Sri Lanka advancing human and labour rights and working towards sustainable development.

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.
  • Sri Lanka's exports to the EU are dominated by textiles and clothing, accounting for 82% of Sri Lanka'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 2017-2019, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2017 2.0 1.5 -0.5
2018 2.1 1.2 -0.9
2019 2.3 1.2 -1.1

EU-Sri Lanka: Trade in services

Trade in services 2016-2018, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2016 0.9 0.4 -0.4
2017 0.9 0.4 -0.4
2018 0.9 0.4 -0.5

EU-Sri Lanka: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2018, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2018 0.1 0.6 0.6

Unless otherwise mentioned “EU” concerns for all indicated years the current European Union of 27 Member States.

Date of retrieval: 22/04/2020

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.

The main trade policy instrument governing trade between the EU and Sri Lanka is the Generalised Scheme of Preferences.  

From 19 May 2017, Sri Lanka benefits from the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance, also known as GSP+.

Trading with Sri Lanka