Minister Fernandopulle to meet with United States Trade Representative Robert Zoellick during the visit

Minister of Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs of Sri Lanka, Hon. Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, will visit Washington D.C. from June 19-22, 2004. While in Washington DC, the Minister of Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs will meet with the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Zoellick and Senior Officials of the Department of Commerce and the Department of State to discuss bilateral trade, economic and business cooperation. The visit of Minister Fernandopulle is part of an ongoing process of high level consultations on trade and investment issues.

The US has emerged as Sri Lanka’s largest export market and trading partner with bilateral trade totaling US$ 2.5 billion. The Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) between Sri Lanka and the US and the Joint Council established within it, is the cornerstone in bilateral economic relations and, is a mechanism to broaden and deepen trade and investment relations with the US.

The Hon. Fernandopulle will present to the United States Trade Representative the economic policies of the Government and reiterate its desire to continue with the trade policy dialogue spanning a wide range of bilateral trade and investment issues and a shared interest in and cooperation at the WTO on the Doha Development Agenda. Minister Fernandopulle will also discuss the Government’s intention to re-engage in efforts for US consideration of initiating a US-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) process.

In meetings with Senior Officials of the US Department of Commerce, Minister Fernandopulle will discuss ways and means to expand the prevailing two-way trade and business relations. At the US Department of State, the Minister will discuss Sri Lanka’s response to the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) as a country among the first 16 countries eligible for MCA assistance in the FY 2004, among other issues.

Minister Fernandopulle is scheduled to meet with members of the US-Sri Lanka Working Group established at the United States Chamber of Commerce to engage them in the current trade and investment opportunities in the country. The Minister’s other meetings include those with Co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan Americans of the 108th Congress and members of the US business community.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

18 June 2004


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