European Union to favour tsunami affected countries

New Delhi, Jan 25 | Updated: Jan 26 2005, 05:30am hrs
The European Union has decided to help regions and businesses affected by tsunami in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand through favourable trade policies EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson has said that the EU is actively considering ways to use trade policy to provide relief to economies devastated by tsunami, a commerce ministry release said.

Some of the EU recommendations include improved market access to the affected countries, identifying trade restrictive measures such as anti-dumping and fast tracking of generalised system of preferences (GSP).

EUs decision is likely help seafood exporters from India who are currently facing the threat of anti-dumping action.

The EU will also consider ways of re-orienting its trade related assistance to affected countries in order to help businesses boost exports, an EU release said. For example, helping affected businesses to comply with sanitary and food safety standards would be a way to offer valuable assistance in increasing exports.

In the medium term, the EU will consider ways to fast-track the adoption and implementation of its new GSP scheme which provides preferential access to imports from vulnerable developing countries.

India, Indonesia and Thailand will benefit from reduced duties and wider product coverage, especially on crucial seafood exports, the EU release pointed out.

The EU has also decided to support WTO-wide initiatives to agree on tariff concessions for the affected countries.

According to an Unctad assessment, tsunami waves have caused enormous damage to fisheries, textiles, tourism and other export-related sectors.