Investments backed by the US government provide a financially-sound alternative to state-led solutions which lead nations like Sri Lanka into debt traps, a top US government official said.
Executive Vice President of the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), David Bohigian, who visited Sri Lanka from October 3 to 5, said OPIC was committed to supporting projects that promote free and open societies while adhering to strong environmental and labour standards.
“We look forward to partnering with Sri Lanka and other regional allies to identify opportunities for investment in ports and other infrastructure, which will fuel sustainable economic growth, create jobs, and leave countries better off,” he said adding Sri Lanka is a hub of maritime activity in the Indian Ocean and serves a vital role in the global economy.
The US Embassy said in a statement that OPIC, the US government’s development finance institution, has invested $118 million in Sri Lanka and currently has almost $20 million invested across four projects.
It said the visiting US delegation met Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera as well as representatives of American businesses active in the Sri Lankan market.
Meanwhile, Chargé d'affaires Robert Hilton said they were working with the Sri Lankan government to ensure that American companies were given the opportunity to compete for government tenders and that tenders were conducted fairly and free from corruption.
He said the US was the single largest export market for “Made in Sri Lanka” garments. “We would like to grow US exports to Sri Lanka, from agricultural products to manufactured goods to software and entertainment,” Mr. Hilton said. (Lahiru Pothmulla)
Executive Vice President of OPIC, David Bohigian met Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera