She has said that the United States is taking a more regional approach to increase ties and they hope to identify specific opportunities during the mega Expo 2012 that Sri Lanka is organising in March 2012. She has said that the United States is optimistic of the Sri Lankan government’s moves to increase its rankings in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Rankings.
Ms. Vineyard has disclosed that on the sidelines of the Expo the latest round of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement talks between the US and Sri Lanka will be held to formulate policies. She has pointed out that US investment in the booming tourism industry did come up during her meetings with officials including the Board of Investment and that it was possible to explore prospects of franchising with global brands.
She has also pointed out that last year Sri Lanka attracted over US$ 1 billion in Foreign Direct Investment, which is extremely good and an indication of how global investors perceive the country. She has also said that when there is more and more trade there will be more and more issues to deal with and it is very important to have a partner willing to talk and resolve them, and Sri Lanka has always been such a partner and that is very positive.
Referring to China’s involvement with Sri Lanka Ms. Vineyard has said that US companies welcome competition from anywhere when there is a level playing field, and has called on authorities to consider the lifespan of projects and stressed that in terms of long term dependability and return US companies have a solid record.
A delegation of 14 companies is travelling to India next month and Ms. Vineyard expects them to explore Sri Lanka’s harbours as investment options as well.(niz)