The United States has sought to continue trade with Sri Lanka despite the serious impact the coronavirus is having on the operations of most businesses.
The US Embassy in Colombo has reached out to the Government and requested that the operations of businesses exporting key products to the US continue while taking precautions to ensure the staff are protected from the virus, The Daily Mirror newspaper reported.
When contacted to clarify this, US Embassy spokesperson Nancy VanHorn said that the United States continues to be the single largest export destination for Sri Lankan products, purchasing approximately 26% of its exports.
In 2018, Americans and US companies bought more than US$ 2.7 billion Sri Lankan goods and services.
She said that the US and other countries are working with Sri Lanka to support production of medical supplies for use worldwide as part of the global response to COVID-19.
“As always, worker safety remains paramount to our countries and we welcome the efforts of Government and industry leaders to ensure appropriate social distancing,” she added.
The spokesperson said that even in a time of crisis, the US continues to support Sri Lanka’s economy and hopes to help mitigate the economic impact caused by COVID-19 and facilitate a return to growth as the world emerges from the pandemic.