For Greater EU Market Access: SL should adopt Sustainability Standards
By Rajiesh Seetharam
In addition to existing legally binding standards, European importers look for more consumer-driven standards like Fairtrade, Compliance and Good Manufacturing Practices, stated German Industry and Commerce Chief Delegate, Andreas Hergenroether.
“For Sri Lankan exporters to have broader market access to the EU, they should adopt sustainability standards covering social and environmental aspects,” noted Hergenroether at a Media briefing organised by the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka) and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) in Sri Lanka on their initiative ‘Sustainable Supply Chains as driver for global competitiveness’.
Hergenroether further stated that as a part of the initiative, the former Human Rights Commissioner of the German Government, Markus Loening will train Sri Lankan companies’ representatives how to comply with global and EU-related sustainability standards. “Many Sri Lankan companies already comply with these standards but are unaware of the requirement of formal documentation. The initiative aims to raise awareness of the need of sustainability-related documentation with Sri Lankan exporters to increase global competitiveness of Sri Lankan companies and to facilitate market access to the EU and the US.”
Speaking at the event, MAS Holdings COO Shirendra Lawrence, pointed out that transparent compliance with sustainability standards was one of the major reasons for MAS Holdings to become the largest apparel company in South Asia and be a global leader in the industry.
Friedrich Naumann Foundation’s Head of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh Office, Hubertus von Welck, noted that “Compliance to standards also includes good Human Rights and Labour standards like the ones set out in the ‘UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’ would take an effort, but will be profitable for companies in the end,”
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) was established in Germany in 1958. It aims to promote the principle of freedom for the dignity of all people and in all areas of society, both in Germany and abroad. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom works in over 60 countries worldwide
AHK Sri Lanka is part of the German Chamber Network supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany with offices in 142 locations and in 92 countries. It is closely connected to the Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHKs) in Germany. Together they support German companies with building up and extending their business relations to foreign countries, representing in total 3.6 million German companies.