The EUR 8 million “EU-Sri Lanka Trade-Related Assistance: Increasing SMEs' Trade Competitiveness in regional and EU Markets” project is fully funded by the European Union (EU). It is an integral part of the EU Regional Multiannual Indicative Programme for Asia 2014-2020 which, in South and North-East Asia, aims to support regional integration in the context of the SAARC and the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) process, as well as market access in the framework of the EU’s GSP.
The project is a project with the Government of Sri Lanka in the lead.The project has been designed and is implemented jointly with the Government of Sri Lanka through the Sri Lankan Department of Commerce (DoC).A Project Steering Committee co-chaired by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs (MNPEA), the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC) and the Delegation of the European Union (EUD) to Sri Lanka and Maldives provides overall project oversight. Competent national level agencies and apex business entities regrouped under specific project Working Groups support the development of project work-plans, the implementation and ownership of project activities.
The International Trade Centre (ITC) is the only United Nations development agency fully dedicated to supporting the internationalization of SMEs. ITC enables SMEs in developing and transition economies to become more competitive and connect to international markets for trade and investment, thus raising incomes and creating job opportunities, especially for women, young people and poor communities. Established in 1964, ITC is the joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. ITC is the lead implementing agency of the project.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is a UN specialised agency that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability. UNIDO's mission is to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development in developing countries and economies in transition.UNIDO is responsible for implementing parts of the project related to strengthening the National Quality Infrastructure and improving compliance with quality and sanitary and phytosanitary requirements in the spice and food sector value chains.