The Sunday Leader

US Wants Trade Imbalance With Sri Lanka Addressed

Robert Hilton

By Easwaran Rutnam

The United States wants a trade imbalance with Sri Lanka addressed soon, a US official said.

Chargé d’affaires at the US Embassy, Robert Hilton said that currently, Sri Lanka exports $2.8 billion of goods to the United States annually while Sri Lanka only imports $269 million from the United States.

“For the benefit of both our countries, this enormous deficit needs to be closed.  The Embassy will continue our engagement with the US Trade Representative (USTR), the government of Sri Lanka and the business community to address this issue,” he said.

Robert Hilton had said this at the American Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka, Annual General Meeting in Colombo.

“This is an auspicious time for American firms to do business in Sri Lanka, where these is a renewed commitment to these and other fundamental values.  American firms are eager to do business here and the US government is engaged in ways to increase bilateral trade between our countries,” he said.

Hilton noted that Assistant US Trade Representative Mark Linscott visited Colombo recently and encouraged the government of Sri Lanka to implement policies that will increase trade and improve the business climate.

“Mark emphasized that to attract more trade and investment opportunities, Sri Lanka will have to institute predictable, sound, and transparent economic policies, including taking steps to remove corruption and favoritism from government tenders.  He also discussed removing some of Sri Lanka’s tariffs that overly burden domestic and foreign businesses.  He urged the promotion of intellectual property rights and encouraged Sri Lanka to increase its own competitiveness by joining the WTO Information Technology Agreement, or ITA.  At the same time, Mark also addressed micro-level issues.  He brought up the current one-year limit on residence visas as a barrier to foreign investment.  We were told the government of Sri Lanka will be lengthening the duration of residency visas to three years, which I am sure will be welcome news to many of you,” he said.


Comments are closed

Photo Gallery

Log in | Designed by Gabfire themes