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 (13) meetings by 2019. Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama led Sri Lanka delegation to the 13th US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council Meeting held on 19th and 20th June 2019 in Colombo, which agreed to take number of actions to boost bilateral trade and investment.

The 13th Council meeting was Co-chaired by Mr. Christopher S. Wilson Assistant United States Trade Representative, South and Central Asia and Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama.

The two sides had productive engagement on a number of areas such as market access and reforming of Sri Lanka's trade and investment regime, including her compliance with the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation and strengthening of intellectual property rights and effective enforcement, encouraging development and innovation in the digital economy, government procurement and trade capacity building with an emphasis on the economic empowerment of women. In a showing of the comprehensive and fruitful nature of the meetings, the delegations also made progress in discussions on certain labour and environmental concerns too.

At the conclusion of the meeting, both delegations assessed the results of their engagement as a significant step forward in increasing bilateral trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.

US-Sri Lanka Bilateral Trade Relations

The US continues to be the single largest export destination for Sri Lankan products with approximately 26% of its exports. Sri Lanka’s exports to the US demonstrated an impressive growth of 43.7% in 2018 compared to 2011. According to the latest trade statistics, Sri Lanka’s exports to the US amounted to US $ 3.08 Billion in 2018.

Total Imports to Sri Lanka from US in 2018 was US $ 645.4 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 $ 2.4 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

trade chart