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.