‘Withdrawal will hit industry’:
Continue GSP + facility - Ceramics Council
The Sri Lanka Ceramics Council will appeal to the EU not to destroy
the livelihood of those in the creramics industry. This is the worst
time to withdraw the GSP+ facility. The denial of the facility will
result in us being unable to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
* Sri Lanka exports ceramics worth US $ 42
* Quality of ceramics no second to any
* Ceramics a buyers’ market
We are working closely with the Government which is sympathetic
towards the situation and has realized the repercussions, said Immediate
Past President, Sri Lanka Ceramics Council and Chairman/Managing
Director, Dankotuwa Porcelain Plc, Sunil Wijesinghe.
He said, “We need to have the GSP+ facility at least for another 3 -5
years. The facility will enable us to be competitive in the EU market.
Countries such as Bangladesh being a Least Developing Country gets
market access without any duty.
Bangladesh is improving on the quality of its products and has a low
cost of production. We are faced with stiff competition and we need the
protection of the GSP+ facility”,
Sri Lanka’s ceramics industry is a high incentive and energy
consuming industry. We have high production costs. It is difficult to
compete with countries such as China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia,
India and Bangladesh. We need to identify emerging markets, he said.
Dankotuwa Porcelain will be the most affected ceramics company as 53
percent of its exports goes to the EU market. The company has provided
employment to 1,000 people where 46 percent are female employees. Most
of them are married and having children, he said.
Immediate Past President, Sri Lanka
Ceramics Council and Chairman/Managing Director, Dankotuwa
Porcelain PLC Sunil Wijesinghe and President, Sri Lanka
Ceramics Council and Chairman/Managing Director Midaya
Ceramics Co. Ltd. Dayasiri Warnakulasooriya. Picture by
In the event of the GSP+ facility being withdrawn a number of
industries including the ceramics industry in Sri Lanka will be
affected, said President, Sri Lanka Ceramics Council and Chairman/
Managing Director Midaya Ceramics Co. Ltd. Dayasiri Warnakulasooriya.
The Sri Lanka Ceramics Council is alarmed at the possibility of losing
the GSP+ concession granted by the European Union. Sri Lanka can export
ceramic articles to the EU free of duty as a beneficiary of the GSP+
The country exports ceramics worth US $ 42 million per year, only one
percent of the global demand. During the past six months the export
value was Rs. 745 million.
Sri Lanka’s main export markets are USA, UK, Italy, UAE, Netherlands,
Germany, France, Japan, Greece and Belgium, he said. The ceramics
industry with approximately 15 companies in operation provides direct
employment to around 5,500 skilled persons. The quality of Sri Lankan
ceramics is no second or even better to any Asian competitor and some of
our brand names are well known the world over, he said.
It is important that the GSP+ facility be continued as ceramics is a
buyers’ market and is volatile to price changes. Without the GSP+
facility the prices of our products will increase and we would lose
markets. The most affected by the GSP+ facility withdrawal would be the
exporters to the EU market, he said.