The United States is keen to expand trade ties with Sri Lanka, said Assistant US Trade Representative of South and Central Asia Michael J Delaney, adding that “Sri Lanka Expo 2012” is a great idea.
Michael J Delaney made these observations when he met Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen.
“The US is Sri Lanka’s topmost customer, and the US consumers of Sri Lankan apparels are probably the largest single employer of Sri Lanka’s workforce”, said the US trade representative.
Minister Bathiudeen has appraised the U.S.diplomat about peace and unity now being enjoyed by all communities in Sri Lanka. He has also explained on the steps being taken to uplift the village level backyard economic units across the country and develop the Northern and Eastern rural economy sector.
The Minister has thanked the delegation for visiting Expo 2012, for its continuous assistance to Sri Lanka in various aspects and for being the top buyer of Sri Lankan apparels.
According to the Department of Commerce apparel products remain the largest single Sri Lankan export item to the US. Of Sri Lanka’s US$ 4,039 m apparel exports to the world in 2011, 39.36% ($ 1,590 million) was directly absorbed by the US market, rising from $ 1,297.5 million in 2009. Another Sri Lankan product line in demand in the US market is the ‘rubber-based product’ category.
Addressing Sri Lanka Expo 2012 President Mahinda Rajapaksa said large investor presence at the expo is a strong and valuable vote of confidence in Sri Lanka; an expression of growing trust in the new opportunities for export trade in a country that was famous for international trade from ancient days.