US – SRI LANKA ECONOMIC RELATIONS – (Trade, Investment & Tourism)
Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) between Sri Lanka and the USA
The Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), signed by the USA and Sri Lanka on 25th July 2002 in Washington DC, provides an ideal platform for the two Governments to maintain a closer dialogue on a number of areas / fields that are of mutual interest to them.
The Joint Council, formed under the TIFA had held twelve (12) meetings by end 2016. Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama led Sri Lanka delegation to the 12th US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council Meeting held on 28th April in Washington DC, which adopted a path breaking Action Plan to boost bilateral trade and investment.
The 12th Council meeting was Co-chaired by United States Trade Representative Michael Froman and Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama.
Recognizing Sri Lanka’s potential to become a much stronger trade and investment partner of the United States, during the Council Meeting, the two governments adopted a U.S.-Sri Lanka Joint Action Plan to Boost Trade and Investment.
The Joint Action Plan aims at reaching its goals over a span of five years; its objectives include, among other measures: reforming Sri Lanka’s trade and investment regime to world class standards; improving the competitiveness of Sri Lanka’s current exports; developing new markets, especially those that take advantage of Sri Lanka’s status as a regional services hub; promoting greater interaction between the U.S. and Sri Lankan business communities; greater utilization of U.S. tariff preference arrangements; strengthening of worker rights and promotion of ethical and environmentally sustainable manufacturing practices, especially in Sri Lanka’s RMG sector; reforming the educational sector to make it more responsive to the needs of business; and increased mobilization of all sectors of society, especially women, in business and trade.
US-Sri Lanka Bilateral Trade Relations
The US continues to be the single largest export destination for Sri Lankan products with over 25% of its exports. Sri Lanka’s exports to the US demonstrated an impressive growth of 35.7% in 2017 compared to 2011. According to the latest trade statistics, Sri Lanka’s exports to the US amounted to US $ 2.9 Billion in 2017.
Total Imports to Sri Lanka from US in 2017 was US $ 811 million, while total trade turnover between Sri Lanka and the US remained at all time high of US $ 3.7 billion. The balance of trade is in Sri Lanka’s favour amounting to US $ 2.1 billion.
Sri Lanka’s trade with the US
Year Exports from Sri Lanka Imports into Sri Lanka Balance of Trade
US $ Million US $ Million US $ Million
2010 1,765 178 1,597
2011 2,145 307 1,860
2012 2,114 224 1,880
2013 2,497 353 2,144
2014 2,720 493 2,228
2015 2,800 471 2,330
2016 2,810 540 2,270
2017 2,912 811 2,101
2018 3.084 645 2,438
Source: Sri Lanka Customs