‘Just set-up Sri Lanka – USA Business Council, key to promote bilateral trade’


By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The Sri Lanka - USA Business Council, which has been just established, will help promote trade and investment between the two countries, whose bilateral relations are at an all time high, US ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap said.

"Sri Lanka’s economy is set to grow strongly with the island ideally placed on the international sea routes across the Indian Ocean. Therefore, the US believes that these geographical advantages would help Sri Lanka to become one of the prosperous nations in the region, Keshap said at the launch of the Council, organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and held at the JAIC Hilton, Colombo.Keshap said that Sri Lanka exports more than US $ 3 billion worth of goods to USA, and these goods have seen a strong growth during the last few years.. "At percent there is a 7 percent year on year growth of Sri Lanka's exports to the US."

The US envoy said the US imports one third of Sri Lanka apparel, which are high in quality and up to world class standards and hopes to develop trade and business relations in the future through the Business Council.

Keshap said that Sri Lanka's highly talented work force could find top American jobs and they are the most attractive candidates for US companies.

He also said that through the American Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka could attract more business into the country. Apart for that, the US government will extend further aid for Sri Lanka's development efforts in the future.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Harsha de Silva said the establishment of the Council could provide opportunities for businesses of both countries.Since the new government came to power in January 2015, there has been "unprecedented growth" in bilateral ties, de Silva said. "The US-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialog with annual high level meetings is charting practical measures to take the relationship to new levels, de Silva said.

President, Sri Lanka -USA Business Council Samantha Rajapaksa said this is an excellent opportunity for Sri Lanka's exporters to penetrate the lucrative US market in a big way and the Council hopes to attract US investments into Sri Lanka in the future.

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