The official delegation from the Department for International Trade in the UK visited the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) on 16th March 2023 to discuss the opportunities for Sri Lanka’s export sector under Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) to be launched by the Government of the UK. Ms. Sofie Kinsey, Trade Preferences Policy Manager for Sri Lanka, Mr. Fabian Hartwell, Overseas Trade Policy Advisor for South Asia, and Ms. Asanthi Fernando, Deputy Head of Trade & Investment at the British High Commission in Colombo participated in the discussions at the EDB with the objective of identifying potential export sectors for Sri Lanka to expand in the UK market utilizing the UK DCTS.
Currently more than 6,000 product lines from Sri Lanka can enjoy zero duty access for the UK market under Enhanced Frame Work preference scheme and another 156 product lines also will be added to the same list under UK DCTS. Being a beneficiary country under UK DCTS, Sri Lanka will become more competitive to further expand in the UK market.
Mr. Suresh de Mel, Chairman & CE of EDB emphasized the importance of UK DCTS since the UK is the second largest export destination for Sri Lanka with a total export value of USD 966.04 million and a total trade value of USD 1,170 million in 2022. Sri Lanka’s main export products to the UK in 2022 were apparel, engineering products, coconut-based products and rubber-based products.
It was identified that some sectors from Sri Lanka like Tea, Rubber Gloves, Animal Feed, Ship Building/ Boat Building, Gherkins, Kithul Treacle and Rice Flour have a potential to expand in the UK market under new DCTS.
The EDB requested assistance from the UK government to promote the potential product sectors in the UK market with the purpose of enhancing the utilization of UK DCTS.
The British team assured their cooperation for Sri Lanka to strengthen the presence of value added products in the UK market by enhancing the utilization of the new preferential arrangement.