Safeguarding and promoting Sri Lanka's economic, trade & commercial interests at multilateral fora

Safeguarding and promoting Sri Lanka's economic, trade & commercial interests at multilateral fora through effective representation and participation at discussions and negotiations at all levels (i.e. decision making and technical) at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and liaising & cooperating with likeminded WTO member countries to form common positions on issues of significant interest to Sri Lanka.

Conducting negotiations to secure market access by gaining tariff concessions under non-reciprocal preferential trade agreements

Conducting negotiations to secure market access by gaining tariff concessions under non-reciprocal preferential trade agreements i.e. Generalized Systems of Preferences (GSPs) for Sri Lanka’s exports.

Conducting negotiations to secure preferential market access for Sri Lanka’s exports under reciprocal trade agreements

Conducting negotiations to secure preferential market access for Sri Lanka’s exports under reciprocal trade agreements, such as, Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Regional Trading Arrangements (RTAs).

Initiate coordinated actions to address specific market entry barriers in the import markets

Initiate coordinated actions to address specific market entry barriers in the import markets by formulating requisite standards/procedures at national level and obtaining approval/endorsement from the Regional /International Standard setting bodies.

Conducting awareness seminars/workshops on market access opportunities

Conducting awareness seminars/workshops on market access opportunities available under FTAs, RTAs and GSPs, in Colombo and regional cities.

Advising and guiding exporters on becoming eligible for COOs under FTA

Advising and guiding exporters on becoming eligible for COOs under FTA, including consultations on rules of origin, production, procedural requirements, etc.

Expeditious issuance of Certificates of Origin to facilitate exports

Expeditious issuance of Certificates of Origin to facilitate exports under the following preferential schemes and regional, bilateral and free trade agreements

  1. Generalized System of Preference (GSP)
  2. Global system of Trade Preference (GSTP)
  3. SAARC Preferential Trading Agreement (SAPTA)
  4. South-Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA)
  5. Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISFTA)
  6. Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (PSFTA)
  7. Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA)

Organizing training programs/ workshops with foreign resource personnel in Colombo and in regional cities

Organizing training programs/ workshops with foreign resource personnel in Colombo and in regional cities on the topics related to new developments in international trade and WTO agreements.

Hosting of “Sri Lanka Trade Information Portal”

Hosting of “Sri Lanka Trade Information Portal” with up to date information related to export and import procedures of 41 organizations, which disseminates all the requirements they need to comply with to import or export a specific good from and into Sri Lanka, in response to a single query.

Assistance to resolve trade disputes between a foreign party and a Sri Lankan party through amicable means

Guiding and assisting the exporters to compile their responses of defense when their products are subject to anti-dumping investigations initiated by the importing countries

Analyzing & compiling responses of defense when Sri Lanka’s exports are subject to countervailing duty & safeguard investigations initiated by the importing countries

Overseas Commercial Representation

The Commercial Representation comprises of 31 DoC officers serving in 28 Sri Lanka Missions aboard, who are engaged in promoting and safeguarding Sri Lanka’s commercial and economic interests in the host countries.

       Main duties performed by the commercial officers abroad are as follows:

  1.  Compilation of market surveys/ intelligence for identification of export opportunities for Sri Lankan products.
  2.  Monitoring & reporting of host-country trade policy changes, especially tariff and non-tariff measures, including recommendations for remedial action, while keeping in view of bilateral, regional & international legal obligations of the host-country.
  3.  Making adequate representation to the host-country for mitigating negative impact of tariff & non-tariff measures imposed on Sri Lanka’s exports.
  4.  Organizing Sri Lanka’s participation in international trade exhibitions/events and one to one meetings.
  5.  Arranging inward business delegations to attend B2B meetings, visit exhibitions/events held in Sri Lanka.
  6.  Staging Sri Lanka-specific (single-country) promotional campaigns in host countries.
  7.  Organizing trade, investment and tourism delegations to visit Sri Lanka and vise-versa to explore business & Investment (Joint Venture) opportunities.
  8.  Organizing individual business visits from and to Sri Lanka to explore business & Investment (Joint Venture) opportunities.
  9.  Networking with trade, investment and tourism related government officials in the host countries and representing Sri Lanka at different governmental and international organizations on issues/ matters relating to Sri Lanka’s commercial and economic interests.
  10.  Serving trade, investment and tourism related inquiries, visiting/meeting with foreign businesses, providing technical assistance to Sri Lankan exporters, assistance to resolve trade disputes etc.
  11. Assist exporters/ manufacturers to register their products/ brand names in overseas markets.
  12.  Intervention with Customs/ Food Safety Authorities of the importing country to facilitate clearance of export consignments from Sri Lanka.
  13.  Secure opportunities aboard for the Sri Lankan manufactures/ growers to attend capacity building/ training programs to acquire/ enhance knowledge on product development, technology, packaging, marketing etc.
  14.  Preparation of briefs/inputs on policy matters affecting trade at bilateral, regional & multilateral levels for enhancing market access for Sri Lanka’s exports of goods & services.
  15.  Providing tailor-made and specific guidance and advice to individual exporters for addressing their supply side constraints and for compiling the responses of defense when their products are subject to anti-dumping investigations initiated by the importing countries.
  16.  Implementation of promotional programmes under “Economic Diplomacy” initiative of the Ministry of External Relations.
  17.  Implementation of export, investment and tourism promotional programmes initiated by the relevant government institutions, Trade Chambers & Business Councils in coordination with relevant stake holders
  18.  Handling, channeling of Official Development Assistance(ODAs) related work and Projects in  coordination with the Department of External Resources and other Governmental Organizations (In a few missions-China/,Beijing)
  19.  Assisting GOSL in procurement of its essential goods and services.

Recommendation for Residence Visas

Only forcompetent expatriates, consultants, specialists and their dependents employed at liaison offices, branch offices or foreign companies, other trade and commercial ventures, taking into account the direct benefits of such employments accruedfor export trade, technology transfer and productivity improvement to the National Economy etc.,.

Approval of Credit Agencies

Director General of Commerce is empowered to declare a company, firm, institution or individual as an approved credit agency under the Mortgage Act No. 6 of 1949. Hence, the Director General will do so-on the basis of a recommendation by a Board consisting of a Chairman and two other persons appointed by the Hon. Minister under Section 114 (1) of the Mortgage Act No. 6 of 1949.

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