TIFA an effective tool in advancing bilateral trade:
PPP useful vehicle for trade and investment
The country is in a position to take advantage of the environment
created by eradicating terrorism. It is presented with many
opportunities and we need to work towards regaining the country’s
national strength to reap benefits, said Export Development and
International Trade Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris.
The US - Sri Lanka Private Public Partnership Conference and the
seventh round of discussions under the Trade and Investment Framework
Agreement (TIFA) were held yesterday in Colombo.
Export Development and International Trade Minister Prof.
G.L. Peiris and Ambassador of the United States to Sri Lanka
Patricia Butenis at the seventh meeting of the Joint Council
under the US-Sri Lanka trade and Investment Framework
Agreement. Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe
It is an initiative launched by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington
D.C. and the Department of Commerce with the objective of fostering
closer linkages between the business community of the United States and
Sri Lanka and involving their maximum participation in the country’s
post-conflict development efforts.
The Private Public Partnership (PPP) is a useful vehicle to achieve
trade and investment objectives. It is important to conduct match-
making exercises. For this, information related to companies
requirements and availability of resources is vital, he said.
The country needs to deploy modern technology to minimize waste.
It is also necessary to strengthen the marketing mechanism. Primary
producers should have direct contacts with exporting companies.
There should be a process to develop skills and provide vocational
training for the SMEs, he said. Signed in 2002, the US- Sri Lanka Trade
and Investment Framework Agreement has become an effective tool for the
two governments in advancing their bilateral relations in the field of
trade and investment.
The areas of focus in the context of the TIFA primarily include
securing enhanced market access for their products in each other’s
markets, promotion of investment and exchange of technical cooperation
for capacity building.
The Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka and the office of the United
States Trade Representative are in charge of the overall implementation
of the TIFA process in close collaboration with a large number of trade
and investment related authorities and agencies. Over time, the TIFA has
become flexible enough for the two countries to discus several other
areas of interest such as tourism and labour.
The US continues to be the largest single market for Sri Lankan
exports. Currently, Sri Lanka exports about close to two billion US
Dollars worth of goods to the US annually while her imports from the US
remain rather modest around 200-300 million US Dollars.
Apparel and textile exports to the US market accounts for as much as
80 percent and the rest of the products mainly include gem and jewellery,
rubber and plastic products, sea food, tea, spices and toys. Sri Lanka’s
imports from the US primarily includes machinery and equipment,
electrical appliances, paper and paper products.
The value of US investments in Sri Lanka is around 250-300 million US
Dollars. The number of tourist arrivals from the US averages between
Fortune 500 companies in the USA willing to invest in Sri Lanka
Forty Fortune 500 companies in the USA have expressed their
willingness to invest in Sri Lanka in support of the country’s effort to
reconstruct and rebuild the North and the East, Export Development and
International Trade Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said at a press
conference yesterday. The USA has identified major areas of
collaboration and will focus its investment and trade options in the
sectors of agriculture, fisheries, and packaging industries for value
addition to generate more employment opportunities, he said.