Promotional visit to Queensland Region of Australia under the Economic Diplomacy Programme
The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Sydney in association with Honorary Consul Office in Brisbane organised the Sri Lankan promotional event in Brisbane from 3rd to 5th March 2020.Consul General, Mr. M.H.M.N. Bandara accompanied by Consul (Commercial), Mr. Abdul Raheem visited Brisbane and had series of meetings with Mr. David Phipps, Director/ International Markets of Trade and Investment in Queensland and Ms. Diana Guerguiera, Manager/International Trade of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Queensland and discussed trade, tourism and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka and way forward in connecting the Australian companies in the Queensland region with their Sri Lankan counterparts.
Report on the Business Interactive Session Held with Members of the BRICS Chamber of Commerce & Industry, 27 th February at the Sri Lanka High Commission, New Delhi
As per the Mission Action Plan 2020, Sri Lanka High Commission in New Delhi organized a busines interactive session for the members of the BRICS Chamber of Commerce & Industry under the theme of “BUSINESS AND INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN SRI LANKA” , at the High Commission premises on 27th February 2020. The main focus of the business interactive session was to promote Sri Lanka as a potential business and Investment destination and to provide information on opportunities available for the members of the BRICS Chamber of Commerce &Industry to select Sri Lanka as their next investment destination.
Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai hosts “Sri Lanka Tourism Promotional Evening and Cultural night” in celebrating 40th anniversary of establishing Diplomatic relations Between Sri Lanka and the UAE
Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the UAE, the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai & Northern Emirates, hosted “Sri Lanka Tourism Promotional Evening and Cultural night” at the most sought-after location in Dubai- Armani Hotel housed in Burj Khalifa, in association with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau being the main sponsor of the event.
Trade Talk- Stregnthening Trade and Investmet Partnership 2020
The High Commission of Sri Lanka together with Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) and the Malaysia Sri Lanka Business Chamber (MSLBC) organized a Trade Talk on 25th February at the High Commission premises
Marina Square Highlights Investment Opportunities in Sri Lanka at the Investment Opportunity Forum
Marina Square – Uptown Colombo, Sri Lanka’s first and largest harbor front development project, attracted the attention of outstanding entrepreneurs, representatives of the real estate industry and people of all circles in China at the recently held Sri Lanka Investment Opportunity and Real Estate Investment Forum. Hosted at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in China, the Forum was attended by Dr. Karunasena Kodithuwakku – Sri Lankan Ambassador in China and Mr. Alexi Gunasekara – Minister (Commercial) to China
Sri Lanka participates in the Food Ingredient Europe 2019 in Paris
Sri Lanka Embassy in Paris, jointly with the Department of Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has organized the Sri Lanka`s participation in the “Food Ingredient Europe - 2019 exhibition” which was held from 3rd to 5th December 2019 in Paris, France.
Business and Investment Promotion Programme in Kerala by Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai
Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner to Southern India, V.Krishnamoorthy along with Minister (Commercial) Yasantha De Silva undertook an official visit to Kerala from 18-20 December, 2019 with the objective of highlighting the trade and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.
Mega Consumer Tourism Promotion at Sri Lanka Food and Cultural Festival - 2019 in Sydney
Sri Lankan Tourism Consumer Promotional Event which was jointly organised by the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Sydney and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), was held at Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour from 23rd to 24th November 2019.
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Turkey Host Networking Reception to Boost B2B Contact between Sri Lanka –Turkey Travel Agents
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Turkey organized business networking reception for the visiting Sri Lankan travel trade delegation participated at the EXPO Travel Ankara fair 2019 at the Embassy on 14th November 2019.

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Vision

“Raising living standards of the people through international trade relations”

Mission

“To develop and promote Sri Lanka’s foreign trade relations at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels by the effective implementation of government trade policy, with a view to raising the standards of living and realizing a higher quality of life through the increase of total production, income and employment levels, thereby actively contributing to the overall economic growth of Sri Lanka.”

The central pillar of the multilateral rule-based trading system enshrined in the GATT/WTO is the acceptance and operation of the Most Favoured Nation principle. This means that every member of GATT/WTO should invariably accord the same, identical, equal and non-discriminatory treatment to all imports irrespective of the countries of origin.

However, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is an officially agreed exception to the MFN principle which was proposed at the first meeting of the United Nation Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) with a view to assisting the developing countries in their exports and development efforts. In 1964, the First United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) started to look into ways and means of granting special trade preferences to developing countries.

Main objectives of granting trade preferences to developing countries were :

  • To enhance export earnings of developing countries.
  • To promote industrialization, and
  • To encourage the diversification of their economies.

In 1968, UNCTAD recommended the creation of a "Generalized System of Tariff Preferences" under which industrialized countries would grant autonomous trade preferences to all developing countries.

In order to implement the system a waiver was required from Article 1 of the GATT which prohibits discrimination. This waiver was granted in 1971 by adopting the "enabling clause" of the GATT to create the legal framework for the "Generalized System of Tariff Preferences" (GSP). Under this framework developed countries were authorized to establish individual Generalized Schemes of Tariff Preferences.

The enabling clause was adopted originally for ten years, and renewed in 1979, for an indefinite period of time thereafter.

Countries that Extend GSP Benefits

Australia
Belarus
Canada
EU*
Japan
Norway
New Zealand
Russian Federation
Switzerland
Turkey
USA
* EU Member States
Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Germany
Greece

Finland
France
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Poland

Portugal
Romania
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
United Kingdom

The history of the Department of Commerce goes back to 1931, established during the period of British rule to facilitate commercial operations. This government institution was incorporated under the Ceylon State Council Order of 1931, which replaced the Ceylon Legislative Council of 1923. Under the section 32 of the Ceylon State Council Order seven Executive Committees were formed. The Executive Committeeon “Labour, Industry and Commerce” with its legislative powers, created Bureau of Commerce assigned with the subject of “Commerce”. After the independence, with the introduction of a Cabinet System of Government,the same institution now known as the Department of Commerce was assigned to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on 29thSeptember 1947.

Throughout the years, with its institutional knowledge and capacity, the Department of Commerce has involved in formulation and implementing of Sri Lanka’s foreign trade policies at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels, in close collaboration with relevant line ministries, authorities and private sector stakeholders.