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On 15 March 2023, the Department of Commerce launched the new UK Developing Country Trading Scheme (DCTS) with the UK Department for International Trade (UKDIT) during the UKDIT Team’s visit to Sri Lanka to demonstrate its strong trade relations between the countries.

In 2022, the UK was the second largest single export market of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is one of 65 nations that will benefit from the UK's new DCTS which will come into force in 2023. Once implemented, the UK DCTS will offer Sri Lanka duty free access for over 7000 products to the UK market.

The main objective of the event was to explore opportunities in the UK market under the DCTS. It was an attempt to establish a platform for existing and potential exporters of Sri Lanka to discuss with the visiting UKDIT team on ways of enhancing exports to the UK, diversifying the export basket, introducing value added products and identify niche markets, and understand ways to increase the UK GSP utilization rate.

H.E. Mrs. Sarah Hulton, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Ms. Sofie Kinsey, Trade Preferences Policy Manager for Sri Lanka at the Trade for Development division of UKDIT, Mr. Fabian Hartwell, Regional Trade Policy Adviser at the British High Commission in Pakistan, Mr. Nicholas Gribit, Strategic Policy Lead at the South Asia Department for Business and Trade of UKDIT and Mr. Michael Fernandopulle, Head of Trade Investment at the British High Commission in Colombo represented the UK side.

Mr. A.M.P.M.B. Atapattu, Secretary of the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Food Security, Mrs. Gilma Dahanayake, Acting Director General of Commerce, Dr. Lakmini Mendis, Head of the Bilateral Affairs Division of DOC and officials of the DOC joined the discussion with the UK team.

The UKDIT Team and the exporters representing apparel, tea, rubber, coconut, spices, fish, herbal and Ayurvedhic products, beverages, animal feed, gems and jewellery, boat building, herbal and Ayurvedic products applauded the initiative taken by the Bilateral Affairs Division of the DOC in promoting export products and establishing direct contacts between the UKDIT and the Sri Lankan businesses.



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