Sunday, 28 March 2021 10:32

Sri Lanka hopes US businesses will invest in the Chinese funded Colombo Port City. Featured

Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha had a virtual meeting with Ambassador Christopher Wilson, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative

(USTR) for South and Central Asia and reviewed bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries.

At the meeting, Ambassador Aryasinha said Sri Lanka was hopeful that US investors and businesses will take advantage of and enter the multifaceted development opportunities that will soon be made possible with the opening of the Colombo Port City.

He said the Cabinet of Ministers had recently approved the parameters for the drafting of the ‘Colombo Port City Commission Bill’ to meet national requirements and to attract foreign investments.

It seeks to create an active environment that can compete with investment hubs such as Dubai, Singapore, and Hong Kong, by attracting investors, entrepreneurs, innovators, companies, financial institutions through a well-structured and competitive legal, tax and regulatory, and dispute resolution mechanism.

The meeting particularly focused on the limited use of Sri Lankan exports to the US that benifitted from the General System of Preferences (GSP) arrangement, and to explore modalities to encourage an increase in products that could benefit from GSP.

As at 2019, while the USA ranked as the number one destination with a share of 27% of Sri Lanka’s exports, apparel ware which constitutes 75% of Sri Lanka’s exports to the US does not enjoy GSP. Only 25% of Sri Lanka’s exports to the US benefited from US GSP. These include mainly rubber products, activated carbon and coir products.

The Ambassador and Minister (Commercial) Sumedha Ponnamperuma also discussed with Ambassador Wilson the timing for the convening of the 14th Session of the SL-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) meeting and priorities to be addressed.

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