The Millennium Challenge Cooperation of the US government is evaluating Sri Lanka for a threshold program that can potentially unlock millions of dollars additional assistance to facilitate economic reforms that can boost growth,US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Athul Keshap said.
“The US relations with Sri Lanka are at an all time high and we will remain steadfast in our support of efforts to rebuild the economy and advance good governance. This year the US government’s assistance is approximately US$ 40 Million to Sri Lanka and we have requested similar amounts from the Congress for the coming years,” the Ambassador said.
Speaking at the 177th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, held in Colombo, Keshap said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decision to loan US$ 1.5 billion to the Sri Lankan government will be a meaningful opportunity to undertake needed fiscal and economic reforms. Sri Lanka’s performance under the IMF program is vital to create a stable economy and also send a signal to the international community regarding the magnetism of Sri Lanka as a preferred destination for FDIs.
Attracting FDIs will require to face the stiff regional competition as countries such as India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region are fighting for the very same investors.
As a result, clear, consistent policies are cornerstones of attracting foreign investors into Sri Lanka, the ambassador said adding that the US government will work closely with the Sri Lanka government to boost expertise on public financial management and workshops with participation of local and foreign resource persons will be conducted to promote entrepreneurship and build skills to suit the needs of employers.
“Our effort to facilitate and strengthen Sri Lankan economy is not limited to financial assistance. So far this year, the US government has trained more than 50 business executives and government officials in best practices for the tourism and energy industries; two sectors with great promise for expansion.”