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Sunday, 1 January 2012

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Lanka, US trade to grow this year

Trade between Sri Lanka and the United States will grow this year with the gradual revival of the US economy and new trade opportunities explored by both countries said American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) President Vijaya Ratnayake. He said 2012 will be a good year for trade and investments for both countries which are eager to expand cooperation and trade ties.

Trade and investment between Sri Lanka and the US recorded a substantial growth last year.

Sri Lanka exports apparels, rubber, precious stones, tea, coffee, spices, chemical products, plastics, electrical machinery and equipment to the US while aircraft, spacecraft and parts, cereals, machinery and machinery appliances, cotton, filaments, paper and paper board and knitted fabrics are imported from the US. Ratnayake said the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks held recently were successful in promoting trade and investment between the two countries.

The talks centred around market access, the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), promotion of trade, intellectual property rights and sector-specific challenges to investment.

Discussions also included the importance of considering gender- issues in setting up a trade and investment policy, and in expanding technical cooperation between the two countries.

Increasing private sector involvement was upheld at the discussions.

The next TIFA meeting is scheduled to be held in March next year to coincide with Sri Lanka Expo 2012 which will be held in Colombo.

TIFA was signed in 2002, and is now the primary forum for bilateral trade and investment discussions between the two countries.The US is a main market for tourism in Sri Lanka.

The US is the second largest market for Sri Lankan garment exports which accounts for around 40 percent of the total garment exports. Exports to the US last year were estimated to be around US$ 1.77 billion or 21 percent of total exports.

 

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