US mulls govt tenders, more exports to Lanka | Sunday Observer

US mulls govt tenders, more exports to Lanka

Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, David Bohigian meets Minister of Finance and Mass Media, Mangala Samaraweera.
Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, David Bohigian meets Minister of Finance and Mass Media, Mangala Samaraweera.

The United States is working with the government to ensure that American companies are given the opportunity to compete for government tenders and that tenders are conducted fairly and free from corruption, according to a senior official of the US Embassy in Sri Lanka. “The United States is the single largest export market for ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ garments. We would like to grow U.S. exports to Sri Lanka, from agricultural products to manufactured goods to software and entertainment,” Chargé d’affaires of the US Embassy, Robert Hilton said in a statement.

Issuing a media statement following a visit of some senior US government officials to Sri Lanka, Hilton said, “The United States seeks to build strong, reciprocal, and balanced bilateral trade and investment relationships throughout the Indo-Pacific.

Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), David Bohigian and other US government officials visited Sri Lanka from October 3-5.

The trip promoted US investment in the region and strengthened cooperation with regional allies to drive economic growth and stability. The delegation met with Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera as well as representatives of American businesses active in the Sri Lankan market.

OPIC has a long history of partnering with allies in the region and recently signed Memoranda of Understanding with Japan’s Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), and with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“Positioned within reach of one of the world’s busiest trade routes, Sri Lanka is a hub of maritime activity in the Indian Ocean and serves a vital role in the global economy,” said Bohigian.

“Investments backed by the US government provide a financially-sound alternative to State-led solutions that lead nations such as Sri Lanka into debt traps.

“OPIC is committed to supporting projects that promote free and open societies while adhering to strong environmental and labour standards. We look forward to partnering with Sri Lanka and other regional allies to identify opportunities for investment in ports and other infrastructure, which will fuel sustainable economic growth, create jobs, and leave countries better off,” he said.

Historically, OPIC has invested $118 million in Sri Lanka and currently has almost $20 million invested across four projects.

OPIC is the US government’s development finance institution. As part of his National Security Strategy, President Trump highlighted the need for a modernized approach by the US government to development finance to help grow aspiring partners, promote economic relationships, and increase investment in regions important to American interests. 

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