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Will not prevent US companies from investing in Port City

30 Jul 2021 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

Expresses concern about legal infrastructure  

  • There appears to be openings for corrupt practices, money laundering  

By Kelum Bandara  

U.S. Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz said yesterday her country would not prevent its companies from investing in the Colombo Port City, but she was still concerned about the new Act governing its businesses because of loopholes for corrupt practices and money laundering.   

Making her remarks during an online round table discussion with a select group of journalists, she said she expressed concerns about this piece of legislation earlier, and she continued to remain so because there appeared to be openings for money laundering. The Ambassador said the U.S. companies would be vary about it because they wanted to keep their balance sheets clean in conformity with international norms and her country’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act which prohibited U.S. citizens from paying bribes.  

“We are not preventing U.S. companies from investing. But, we have been raising concerns about the legal environment,” she said.  The Ambassador, however, said the Port City laws were yet incomplete because the imposition of new regulations under it was yet to be completed, and she was awaiting more details in this regard. She emphasized he priority was to encourage investments and economic engagement with Sri Lanka.