Sri Lanka, US talks on removing impediments to trade
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan and American officials will begin a round of talks in Colombo on Thursday to complete a work plan under the US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework (TIFA) aimed at improving bilateral trade.
“I am here to complete the work plan under the US-Sri Lanka Joint Action Plan, finalised on 28 April in Washington DC,” said US Trade Representative Delaney on a visit to Colombo.
“We are finalising the work plan tomorrow, 01 September, in Colombo and it will go into effect immediately,” a Commerce and Industries Ministry statement quoted Delaney as saying.
“Tomorrow’s work plan will help to address chief impediments to a better trade performance between the US and Sri Lanka. We believe, once this work plan is implemented, our trade will increase substantially. With the new government’s reform focus, we have a great opportunity.”
Delaney spoke at a meeting with the Sri Lankan government’s Industry and Commerce team, headed by Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiueen, on 31 August.
On April 28, 2016, in Washington DC, the 12th US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework (TIFA) Council meeting was held, co-chaired by United States Trade Representative Michael Froman and Sri Lanka’s Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama.
With a goal of significantly increasing two-way trade and investment between the United States and Sri Lanka, the two governments adopted a US-Sri Lanka Joint Action Plan to boost trade and investment at the 28 April TIFA Council meeting.
The inter-sessional meeting of the 12th TIFA Joint Council Meeting will be held in Colombo on 01 September.
In 2015, total bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $3.3 billion.
According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, the US continues to be the largest single export market for Sri Lanka, having absorbed 23 percent of Sri Lanka’s total exports.
(COLOMBO, August 31, 2016)