Sri Lanka to make more use of U.S. tariff preference schemes

ECONOMYNEXT – The United States and Sri Lanka adopted a five-year joint action plan to boost trade and investment with provisions including greater use of U.S. tariff preference arrangements by the island.

Both governments pledged their commitment to deepening engagement over the coming months in order to develop a detailed implementation plan for the Action Plan to be formally launched later this year.

This was revealed in a Joint Statement on the 12th Joint U.S.-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework (TIFA) Council Meeting held on April 28, 2016 in Washington, D.C. 

The meeting was Co-chaired by United States Trade Representative Michael Froman and Sri Lanka Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama.

“The Sri Lanka delegation, building upon the Joint Statement of the recently concluded inaugural “Partnership Dialogue” between the two countries, presented several specific proposals for deeper cooperation to enhance bilateral trade and investment and improve the overall competitiveness of Sri Lanka’s economy,” the statement said.

United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power participated as well, encouraging the Sri Lankan government to continue its vital progress on democracy, accountability, and human rights it said.

“Ambassador Froman noted that the election outcome has ushered in a new era of U.S.-Sri Lanka economic cooperation.”

The Joint Action Plan aims at reaching its goals over a span of five years and its objectives include, among other measures:

reforming Sri Lanka’s trade and investment regime to world class standards

improving the competitiveness of Sri Lanka’s current exports





developing new markets, especially those that take advantage of Sri Lanka’s status as a regional services hub

promoting greater interaction between the U.S. and Sri Lankan business communities

greater utilization of U.S. tariff preference arrangements

strengthening of worker rights and promotion of ethical and environmentally sustainable manufacturing practices

reforming the educational sector to make it more responsive to the needs of business

increased mobilization of all sectors of society, especially women, in business and trade.

(Colombo/April 30 2016)

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