February 2, 2016
On February 1, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for South Asia Michael J. Delaney visited Colombo and met with government, trade, and business officials ahead of the upcoming Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks in Washington. Delaney met with Minister of Development Strategy & International Trade Malik Samarawickrema and representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Enterprise Development, the Board of Investments, the Department of Commerce, and the Prime Minister’s office to discuss ways to increase trade and investment.
“Sri Lanka exports more to the United States than to any other country,” said U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap. “Increasing bilateral trade and investment opportunities will enhance prosperity for all.”
Delaney discussed labor issues with representatives from unions and the Ministry of Labor and Trade Union Relations, as well as listened to perspectives from the private sector with members of the American Chamber of Commerce. Delaney also touched upon intellectual property rights during his meetings in Sri Lanka.
“Sri Lanka is now well-positioned to make important economic reforms,” said Delaney. “If implemented, Sri Lanka could maximize its potential with stronger trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) performances.”
Trade and Investment Framework Agreements provide strategic frameworks and principles for dialogue on trade and investment issues between the United States and partner countries. Agreements serve as a forum for the United States and other governments to meet and discuss issues of mutual interest with the objective of improving cooperation and enhancing opportunities for trade and investment.