Skip to main content

Sri Lanka

EU trade relations with Sri Lanka. Facts, figures and latest developments.

Country or region
  • Sri Lanka
Trade topics
  • Negotiations and agreements
  • Trade policy

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 China, accounting for 12.4% of Sri Lanka's total trade in 2023.
  • In 2023, Sri Lanka was the EU's 78th largest trading partner in goods, accounting for 0.1% of EU trade.
  • In 2023, Sri Lanka's exports to the EU were dominated by textiles and rubber products.
  • Sri Lanka is the third-largest beneficiary of the EU's GSP+ arrangement.

The 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+.

Sri Lanka's trade preferences

  • From 19 May 2017 Sri Lanka benefits enhanced market access to the EU under the Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP+).  These one-way trade preferences will consist of the full removal of duties on 66% of tariff lines, covering a wide array of products including textiles and fisheries.
  • GSP+ aims to support Sri Lanka's economic development through more trade with the EU, as well as contributing to diversifying exports and attracting investment. GSP+ is granted on the condition of Sri Lanka's commitment to ratify and effectively implement 27 international conventions on human rights, labour conditions, protection of the environment and good governance. As is the case for all GSP+ countries, the removal of customs duties for Sri Lanka will be accompanied by rigorous monitoring of the country's progress in implementing these conventions.

Trading with Sri Lanka

Latest news