Sri Lanka may not be the first market that comes to mind when thinking of opportunities to export goods and services or invest, but there is reason to at least keep the country in mind. While the Administration has been busy in its efforts to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and prepare for its implementation, it has also aimed to strengthen trade with other Asian countries.
According to the U.S. Trade Representative, a joint trade and investment deal announced little more than a month ago offers new opportunities for U.S. exporters and investors. The deal was struck under the Trade and Investment Agreement already in effect between the two countries.
While Sri Lanka has not traditionally imported many goods or services from the United States, it is a large importer of aircraft and aircraft parts, manufacturing of which the United States has a competitive advantage (see my previous post here on top markets for U.S. exporters). And, while high tariffs and ad valorem taxes on U.S. exports entering Sri Lanka have hampered trade between the two countries, the new deal will likely lower tariffs and provide new opportunities for U.S. exporters.
Officials are already hard at work developing proposals to implement the plan, which will include actions to be carried out over a projected five-year span. The detailed plan is expected to be announced later this year.
As always, www.export.gov serves as an excellent resource for U.S. investors looking to take advantage of new opportunities. To export to Sri Lanka you may need an agent or distributor. One source to find one is the Commerce Department’s Gold Key Matching Service.