Talks in US to expand economic partnership

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 September 2004, 11:02 GMT]
United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Minister of Finance Dr. Sarath Amunugama is scheduled meet with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to apprise him of the economic policies of the Sri Lanka Government and, to discuss matters related to further broadening and deepening the US-Sri Lanka bilateral economic relationship. Said Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC Press release issued today.

Full text of the press release follows:

"Minister of Finance of Sri Lanka, Hon. Sarath Amunugama, will visit Washington D.C. from September 29-October 4, 2004. While in Washington DC, the Minister of Finance will attend the 2004 G-24 Ministers' Meeting, IMFC, DC and 2004 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the IMF and World Bank. The Minister is scheduled to address the 2004 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the IMF and the World Bank on October 3, 2004.

The Minister of Finance is accompanied by Mr. Sunil Mendis, Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Mr. Sumith Abeysinghe, Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, Ministry of Finance, Dr. (Mrs.) Ranee Jayamaha, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Mr. P.D. Rodrigo, Appointed Member, Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Mr. R.A. Jayatissa, Assistant to the Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Dr. Uthum Herat, Alternate Executive Director, International Monetary Fund and Dr. H.N. Thenuwara, Director of Economic Research, Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Ambassador Devinda R. Subasinghe, Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the United States will also join the Minister in the bilateral and multilateral discussions.

During the visit, Minister Amunugama will also meet with Senior Officials of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the Department of Treasury and the Millennium Challenge Corporation to discuss bilateral cooperation in the areas of economic development and development financing.

Minister Amunugama will meet with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the Deputy USTR to apprise them of the economic policies of the Government and, to discuss matters related to further broadening and deepening the US-Sri Lanka bilateral economic relationship. The Minister's meeting follows the Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister's meeting with the USTR in June 2004 and also precedes the Fourth Ministerial meeting of the Joint Council under the Trade and Investment Agreement (TIFA ) scheduled for October 2004.

The Finance Minister's discussions with Deputy Secretary of the Treasury will be within the framework of the ongoing US Treasury technical assistance programs in Sri Lanka. These include programs on budget formulation and debt management.

The Minister of Finance, in his capacity as one of the Co-chairs of the Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee established for the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) process in Sri Lanka, will also meet with the Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to discuss aspects related to formulation of Sri Lanka's MCA Compact and issues related to poverty reduction and rural sector development envisaged in the Compact. Announced by President Bush in May 2004, Sri Lanka was among the first 16 countries that qualified for MCA assistance for FY2004. Subsequently, Sri Lanka also became eligible for assistance in FY2005.

The visit of Minister Amunugama is part of an ongoing process of high level consultations between Sri Lanka and the US on economic development and development financing within the rubric of a widening bilateral economic and political partnership. The Minister's meetings and discussions in Washington D.C. acquire a special significance as they include both multilateral and bilateral meetings with Washington being the political capital and home to two large multilateral financial institutions, the IMF and the World Bank."

 

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