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14th TIFA Council Meeting held in Colombo

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The United States and Sri Lanka marked the fourteenth Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council Meeting in Colombo today (18), solidifying their commitment to enhancing trade and investment relations. The technical level meeting, co-chaired by Mr. K.J. Weerasinghe of the Government of Sri Lanka and Mr. Brendan Lynch, Acting Assistant United States Trade Representative for South and Central Asia, witnessed productive discussions on a wide range of crucial issues.

Her Excellency Julie Chung, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Mrs. Chandanie Wijayawardhana, Acting Secretary to the President, set the tone with their opening remarks, acknowledging the 75th anniversary of bilateral relations between the two nations.

During the TIFA Council meeting, both delegations addressed policies impacting the investment climate, recent labour reforms, intellectual property protection and enforcement, customs and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade and market access for apparel, gem and jewellery and agricultural products. The discussions also extended to collaboration and technical assistance in areas such as the digital economy, gem and jewellery industry, floriculture, boat building sectors and the Coconut Research Institute’s technology transfer and research commercialization.

Transparency and efficiency in approving foreign direct investment (FDI) were emphasized as key drivers of domestic economic growth and foreign investment attraction. The United States underscored the importance of adopting robust anti-corruption measures and Sri Lanka provided updates on its proposed anticorruption legislation, seeking technical assistance and training from the U.S. government.

The Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to workers’ rights was highlighted and Sri Lanka outlined its ongoing labour law reform efforts. The United States stressed the importance of consulting relevant stakeholders and ensuring public review and comment in the process. Sri Lanka detailed its procedures for labour law reforms, with the United States expressing readiness to support these efforts.

Both nations discussed the reduction of agricultural trade barriers to enhance food security in Sri Lanka. The United States advocated for greater market access for U.S. exports of agricultural products, including animal feed. Biotechnology’s role in sustainable agriculture and food security was also explored.

Intellectual property (IP) protection and enforcement were affirmed as crucial for bilateral trade and innovation. Sri Lanka shared updates on its IP legislative reforms and the United States offered capacity building support.

The meeting concluded with both governments committing to making sustained progress on trade issues, looking ahead to the next TIFA Council Meeting scheduled for 2024. The fourteenth TIFA Council Meeting served as a testament to the United States and Sri Lanka’s dedication to strengthening their economic ties and fostering mutual prosperity.

(President’s Media Division)

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Political parties urged to publish their National Socio-economic Recovery Programmes 

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A public appeal has been made to several mainstream political party leaders to  immediately publish their respective National Socio-economic Recovery Programmes for social discourse.

The request has been formally addressed to the political party leaders of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), the National People’s Power (NPP), United National Party (UNP), Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC).

Click here for the full context of the public appeal

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Govt. to provide free fertilizer to all paddy farmers

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Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries – Mahinda Amaraweera has said that the government has decided to provide MOP fertilizer free of charge to all the paddy farmers in Sri Lanka during the 2024/25 Maha season and 2025/26 Maha season.

Sri Lanka will thus receive 55,000 metric tons of MOP fertilizer as requested by the government from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

The Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries, Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera, expressed his views on this in a meeting held in Tissamaharama today (June 24).

(dailynews.lk)

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8 arrested over gang rape of teen, remanded

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Eight youths who were arrested in connection with the alleged gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in the Jalthara area of Hanwella, have been remanded until June 28.

The suspects were produced before the Homagama Acting Magistrate Padmasiri Jayawardena today (June 24).

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