US will not own, control or administer any land under MCC - Teplitz | Daily News


US will not own, control or administer any land under MCC - Teplitz

United States promotes business by helping to improve economies, creating more opportunities for the private sector to compete and more opportunities for communities to become prosperous Alaina B Teplitz, Ambassador of United States of America to Sri Lanka and Maldives told the Sri Lanka USA Business Council AGM on Tuesday.

“So, it will not surprise you that from the American perspective, a thriving, growing Sri Lanka will be a more dynamic market for U.S. Goods and services. We are, after all, already Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner and number one export destination. An expanding economy spells growing business opportunities and the chance to eliminate poverty. It means a “win-win” for our countries,” she said.

The Ambassador said she believed that the private sector has a key role to play in creating the thriving global economy of the future.

“We value new ideas, new approaches, and more effective and affordable products and services that help us work more productively. In fact, I encourage this Chamber to take a look at the procurement, partnership and investment opportunities you can find on the ‘Work with Us’ page on the MCC website. All of our MCC agreements with other countries can be found on the same website.

Since Sri Lanka’s independence, the United States has furnished over $1 billion in grants and direct development assistance, none of which must be repaid.

The United States believed that strong and inclusive economic growth is essential to the defense of Sri Lankan sovereignty and to the advancement of peace and reconciliation on the island and inclusive economic growth is also essential to the future prosperity of the Sri Lankan people.

 “Frankly, the need for inclusive economic growth is true for all nations. As they say: a rising tide lifts all boats,” she said.

The Ambassador said the MCC is a U.S. Government development assistance agency and was an agency similar to USAID , the Agency for International Development. “ MCC is similar, but its projects are strictly time-bound and focused on large infrastructure. Since 2004, the U.S. has invested $14 billion in 37 MCC Compacts with 29 countries around the world,”she said.

Teplitz said the MCC would support efforts to improve the transportation infrastructure and to implement the Sri Lankan government’s land administration reforms, all without adding a single rupee to Sri Lanka’s debt.

“The Governments of Sri Lanka and the United States collaboratively developed the proposed agreement, with significant input from the private sector and civil society, among them this Chamber,” she said.

Development needs in transportation and land administration were identified as the most significant binding constraints to economic growth in this country and that is why these are the two sectors addressed by the MCC grant. Under this agreement, Sri Lanka will retain oversight and control of all aspects of the proposed projects all roads undergoing improvement; every traffic signal and us network upgraded; and every aspect of the effort to digitize land records and to produce accurate land surveys. The United States will not own, control, or in any way administer any land under this agreement, the Ambassador added.


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