Business and investor partnerships between Sri Lanka,
US strengthened :
Much potential for US investors in Sri Lanka
There is much potential in Sri Lanka for investors from the United
States to invest in a wide range of sectors such as IT, construction,
infrastructure, gem and jewellery. The Governments of Sri Lanka and the
United States have taken steps to strengthen business and investor
partnerships at a time when stability and peace had returned to Sri
Lanka, said Assistant United States Trade Representative for South and
Central Asia, Michael Delaney.
At a glance
* Sri Lankan workforce highly skilled
* Sri Lanka in a strategic geographical
position in Asia
* Enhanced economic partnership possible
between Sri Lanka and the United States
He was speaking at the Sri Lanka-United States, private-public
partnership conference at the Cinnamon Grand yesterday.
He said the Sri Lankan workforce was highly skilled as the country
has a high percentage of literacy. Therefore, the workforce in Sri Lanka
would be at an advantage for investors who wish to set up business
ventures in Sri Lanka.
Re-construction in the Northern and the Eastern provinces is
important, as there will be many investment opportunities for novel
“There is much potential for investments in Sri Lanka as Sri Lanka’s
economy has shown stability and growth. Therefore, the Sri Lanka-United
States, private-public partnership effort will further strengthen trade
relationships between the two countries”, Delaney said.
Central Bank Governor, Ajith Nivard Cabraal said Sri Lanka recorded a
steady economic growth of around six percent during the past four years.
With the opening of the Northern and the Eastern province there is
much potential for investments in those regions, especially in the
tourism, agriculture, fisheries and construction sectors.
The Sri Lanka-United States, private-public partnership conference
will be vital to ensure the sustainable pattern of economic growth and
increase foreign direct investments and business opportunities for Sri
Lanka and the United Sates public-private partnerships, Cabraal said.
The policy of the Government was to usher in development to the
regions outside the Western province, which had contributed 51 percent
to the Gross National Production (GNP) in the past. With the new
policies of the Government the Western province contribution to the GNP
has reduced to 48 percent indicating that there was more economic
activity in the provinces. Regional investments and economic activities
will be increased and there is tremendous potential for foreign
investors in the provinces, he said.
There is vast potential for tourism in the Eastern province and
investors were welcome to set up hotels and tourist resorts while taking
advantage of the beautiful and clean beaches in a sustainable manner.
There was also scope for up market tourist hotels with larger
investments to compete with regional tourist destinations and to attract
affluent tourists, Cabraal said.
Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion and
Media, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said Sri Lanka considers education as an
investment and has always endeavoured to achieve the highest percent of
literacy in the region. Sri Lankans are working all over the world in
many fields which shows that Sri Lankan workers would be an advantage to
any foreign entrepreneur who wish to launch ventures in Sri Lanka.
United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Patricia Butenis said that she
was confident that an enhanced economic partnership is possible between
Sri Lanka and the United States. She would like to see Sri Lanka as a
highly developed country by the end of her tenure of service in Sri
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States, Jaliya Wickramasuriya
said that 38 percent of Sri Lanka’s exports are to the United States and
there was much scope to increase the number of US investors in Sri
Lanka, as there was greater potential for investments with peace and
stability returning to the country. This would be a better platform for
US investors to increase their investments and business in Sri Lanka.