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 thirteen (13) meetings by 2019. The 13th Council meeting was Co-chaired by Hon. Malik Samarawickrama, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade of Sri Lanka, and Mr. Christopher S. Wilson, Assistant United States Trade Representative, South and Central Asian Affairs of the office of the United States Trade Representative. The 13th US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council Meeting held on 19th, and 20th June 2019 in Colombo agreed to take a number of actions to boost bilateral trade and investment.
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 labor 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.
The 14th U.S. - Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council Meeting was scheduled to be held in Washington DC in 2020 but postponed due to the ongoing pandemic situation. Both countries are considering to hold the meeting in virtually during 2021.
US-Sri Lanka Bilateral Trade Relations
The U.S. continues to be the single largest export destination for Sri Lankan products, with approximately 27% of its exports. Sri Lanka's exports to the U.S. demonstrated an impressive growth of approximately 47% in 2019 compared to 2011. According to the latest trade statistics, Sri Lanka's exports to the U.S. amounted to the U.S. $ 3.1 Billion in 2019.
Total Imports to Sri Lanka from the U.S. in 2019 were U.S. $ 548.83 million, while total trade turnover between Sri Lanka and the U.S. remained at an all-time high of U.S. $ 3.7 billion. The balance of trade is in Sri Lanka's favor amounting to U.S. $ 2.5 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
2019 3,141 549 2,592
Source: Sri Lanka Customs