The United States has signalled its willingness to assist Sri Lanka economically with the hopes of capturing the future growth in the Indo-Pacific region through the island. Outgoing US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz noted that US investment into Sri Lanka which was US$ 13 million last year and cumulatively stands at US$ 274 million is low compared to international peers.
The Ambassador was speaking at the 5th AGM of the Sri Lanka-US Business Council held at the Royal Colombo Golf Club on July 22.
Ambassador Teplitz characterized the Indo-Pacific as the heart of economic growth in the world and noted that more US investment could be located in Sri Lanka, if there was a stronger transparent rule-based framework for operating. Teplitz also signalled US willingness through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to step in to help Sri Lanka with its current foreign currency shortfall.
“The US as a signal of goodwill has recently allocated 1.5 million Moderna vaccines and 500,000 rapid testing kits to the Sri Lankan Government through their COVAX initiative,” she said.
Teplitz will be replaced by Julie Chung who will take up the appointment as the new US Ambassador. Teplitz characterized Sri Lanka as sharing in US ideals of democracy and noted, “national reconciliation will require an institutional framework to succeed and a reconciled Sri Lanka that overcomes community and achieves broad-based equitable economic growth will emerge as a more developed and more secure partner for the United States.”