Senior officials of the Governments of the United States and Sri Lanka met at the Office of the United States Trade Representative on 15th November 2011 for the 9th meeting of the United States-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council. U.S delegation was headed by Mr.Michael Delaney, Assistant United States
Trade Representative for South and Central Areas Affairs while the Sri Lanka delegation comprised of Mr.Tilak Collure, Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce,Mr.Gomi Senadhira, Director General of Commerce and Ms.Renuka Weerakoon, Director, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka.
The TIFA was signed in 2002, and since that time has been 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 Governments of the United States and Sri Lanka on trade and investment issues, including impediments to greater trade and investment flows between the Parties. U.S remains the largest single country market for Sri Lanka Exports.
The Parties discussed a full range of trade and investment climate issues, including market access issues, the U.S Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), trade promotion efforts, intellectual property rights, and sector-specific investment challenges.
Both Parties appreciated the need for increased private sector involvement in issues discussed under the TIFA and announced plans to continue to hold private sector events in conjunction with future TIFA council meetings. Following the bilateral meeting, representatives of the U.S private sector were briefed on trade and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.
It is planned 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.