In the very short run, till about next year’s end, Sri Lanka has no other alternative other than going for import controls, senior economist Dr. W A Wijewardena said adding that the country ideally should not exceed this period.

He said this as the European Union (EU), released a statement saying trade is not a one-way street.

In the statement released today the EU stated, “Trade, however, is not a one-way street. The current import restrictions are having a negative impact on Sri Lankan and European businesses, and on Foreign Direct Investment. Such measures impair Sri Lanka’s efforts to become a regional hub and negatively impact Sri Lankan exports by constraining the import of raw material and machinery. We recall that a prolonged import ban is not in line with World Trade Organisation regulations.

“Sri Lanka’s withdrawal of support for the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 remains a source of concern. The Government has stated its continuing commitment, including to the EU, to fostering reconciliation, justice and peaceful coexistence among Sri Lanka’s diverse communities. The EU stands ready to support the Government’s efforts in this area. The rule of law and a vibrant civil society are essential in this regard.”

Dr. Wijewardena told Counter Point that in the very short run, till about next year end, Sri Lanka has no other alternative other than going for import controls.

“But as the EU says if we have import controls even after 2021 then definitely, we will suffer because there will be a contraction of the imports. We won’t be able to produce because most of our imports are raw material, then other countries importing our goods will impose countervailing measures. If we restrict our exports then we are going to suffer,” he said.


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