Sri Lanka and US discuss modalities to explore more products to the US under US GSP
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US, Ravinatha Aryasinha, during a virtual meeting with Assistant US Trade Representative (USTR) for South and Central Asia Ambassador Christopher Wilson recently had reportedly reviewed bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries.
The meeting had particularly focused on the limited use of Sri Lankan exports to the US that benefited from the General System of Preferences (GSP) arrangement, and to also explore modalities to encourage an increase in products that could benefit from the GSP facility.
As at 2019, while the US had ranked as the number one destination with a share of 27% of Sri Lanka’s exports, apparel ware which constituted 75% of Sri Lanka’s exports to the US does not enjoy GSP. Only 25% of Sri Lanka’s exports to the US are benefited from the US GSP and these include mainly rubber products, activated carbon and coir products.
The Ambassador and Minister (Commercial) Sumedha Ponnamperuma have further 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. The last session was convened in Colombo in 2019, and the 14th Meeting of the Joint Council, which was to be held in Washington DC in 2020, was postponed due to the Covid 19 pandemic situation.
Ambassador Wilson, who emphasised the centrality of the TIFA in the SL-US relationship, has reportedly said the US hoped to convene the meeting early and saw it as a means of expanding the trade and investment potential between the two countries.
Ambassador Aryasinha and Ambassador Wilson have also discussed the recent exploratory visits by US investors to Sri Lanka and the interest shown by several other investors from the Western Hemisphere, including in tourism-related projects.
Ambassador Aryasinha has further noted that 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.
The move to include more products in the list of commodities receiving trade concessions under the US GSP facility, will see a boost in Sri Lanka’s exports manufacturing sector. Sri Lanka’s exports sector has shown positive growth since the sector continued to operate even during the Covid 19 lockdown last year. All this has resulted in the expansion of business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s exports sector. US businesses/investors could explore business opportunities in Sri Lanka’s exports sector given the growing opportunities in the sector.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/20210310/Z_1|