War-affected areas to be explored for new avenues of U.S., Sri Lanka economy
[TamilNet, Friday, 16 October 2009, 17:34 GMT]
Assistant United States Trade Representative for South and Central Asia, Michael Delaney, who on Thursday led the U.S. delegation in the seventh council meeting of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), a bilateral agreement reached between the USA and Sri Lanka in July 2002, following the Ceasefire Agreement, has said that both the countries have now identified new areas of cooperation, adding that the purpose of the meeting was to "foster economic development and generate jobs, particularly in the war-affected areas."
Sri Lankan Minister for Export Development and International Trade, G.L.Peiris, led the Sri Lankan delegation. Mr. Peiris led the GoSL delegation in the peace talks between the GoSL and the LTTE following the CFA agreement in 2002.
“The seventh round of TIFA talks takes place at a historic juncture in the Sri Lankan economy. It is heartening to note that the TIFA process has already begun to expand beyond its traditional boundaries,” said Trade Minister Peiris, according to a press statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Colombo Friday.
The delegations discussed the status of the ongoing WTO/Doha negotiations, Sri Lanka’s use of the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, and U.S. trade capacity building assistance to Sri Lanka.
Total two-way trade between Sri Lanka and the United States totaled $2.3 billion in 2008, with U.S. imports of $2 billion and U.S. exports of $283 million, according to the press statement.
"The leading U.S. exports to Sri Lanka were aircraft, cereals, industrial machinery, electrical machinery and plastics. U.S. imports from Sri Lanka are primarily apparel, rubber, precious stones and industrial machinery. In 2008, U.S. imports from Sir Lanka qualifying for GSP preferences were valued at $153 million," the press statement said.