Aug 20, Colombo: The United States is seeking to explore new opportunities in resurgent Sri Lanka to boost bilateral trade to high levels through a new round of initiatives, a US official has said.
"Lots of good things are happening here. We want to get a fresh start and we should look for more ways to strengthen US-Sri Lanka bilateral trade," William Weinstein, the new Deputy Chief of Mission of US Embassy in Colombo has said when he met with Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce Anura Siriwardena in Colombo recently.
A communiqué from the Industry and Commerce Ministry said during the successful TIFA talks held in March 2012 in Colombo, Michael J Delaney, Assistant US Trade Representative of South and Central Asia, who led the US trade delegation announced that US is now keen to triple the current bilateral trade levels within a few years.
"There's tremendous potential here. I believe we can easily triple bilateral trade and investment over the next five years (by 2017) as long as we implement the proper policies," Delaney has announced in his opening statement at TIFA talks in Colombo.
In 2011, US became the second largest global trade partner of Sri Lanka (followed by India). Sri Lanka-US bilateral trade value stood at US$ 2.478 billion in 2011 which was only US$ 1.962 billion in 2003. Bilateral trade rose 28% (year on year) from 2010.
"We want to support healthy democracies. We want to encourage more US FDIs flows to Sri Lanka as well as to encourage Sri Lankan exports to the US," Weinstein has emphasized.
"US industries' strong involvement in Sri Lanka translates to even stronger bonds between the two countries. The successfully concluded March 2012 TIFA talks were very important for us. Now lots of good things are happening here. Now we want to get a fresh start and we should look for more partnering ways to strengthen US-Sri Lanka bilateral trade," Weinstein has said.