The Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington DC, USA will work closely with the US Chamber of Commerce and relevant US authorities to arrange a trade and investment delegation visit to Sri Lanka for Expo 2012 held in Colombo.
This was revealed at the ninth meeting of the United States-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) council held recently where senior US and Sri Lankan officials met at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
The parties discussed a range of investment issues including market access, the US Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), trade promotion efforts, intellectual property rights and sector-specific challenges to investment.
Discussion also included the importance of considering gender issues in setting up trade and investment policy, and in expanding technical cooperation between the two countries.
Both countries recognised the need for increased private sector involvement in issues discussed under the TIFA and they announced plans to continue to hold private sector events in conjunction with future TIFA council meetings.
Representatives of the private sector were briefed by officials from the Sri Lankan government on investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.
Both countries expressed their desire to hold the next TIFA Council meeting in late March 2012 to coincide with the Sri Lanka Expo to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The TIFA was signed in 2002, and is now the primary forum for bilateral trade and investment discussions between the two countries.
The TIFA process has been the focal point of a sustained and multi-faceted high-level engagement between the United States and Sri Lanka on trade and investment issues, including impediments to greater trade and investment flows between the countries.
The post-TIFA networking dinner was hosted on 15 November by the Sri Lankan Ambassador to USA Jaliya Wickramsuriya at his residence.
The Ambassador said that in 2009 and 2010 there were two large business delegation visits to Sri Lanka to coincide with TIFA talks.
Those visits supported by the USTR and other US agencies have created much-needed synergy among the US companies to explore numerous business opportunities in Sri Lanka.