US offers Sri Lanka debt management support 

The United States has offered Sri Lanka support to manage its debt and find a more sustainable path forward.

The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Alaina B. Teplitz told journalists at a media roundtable that the Sri Lankan government must to look at its debt burden realistically, practically, and think about sustainability going forward.

“It is not necessarily a problem for a government to be carrying debt but it’s got to be able to pay for that debt in a way that doesn’t then exclude its ability to fund all of the other necessary activities of a government, the social networks and other things that are required. The United States would support the government in managing its debt and finding a more sustainable path forward, and we’d be happy to have those conversations,” the Ambassador said in response to a question raised at the roundtable.

She said the US has already indicated that it would like to see more economic stability in the country and that it would like to support that.

“We are contributing in a small way to that through our development programs but we would be happy to have the larger conversation as well,” she said.

Ambassador Teplitz also said that there are major US firms who are in the energy sector who would like to invest in Sri Lanka.

“I hope there are going to be opportunities in this space.  Again, there needs to be fair, open, transparent tendering procedures and commitments that can be followed through in order to see those investments come to fruition. I think if some of those investments can be finalized then Sri Lanka has a great opportunity to play those up and potentially attract even more investment in that space.  So that would be in LNG.  That would be in some other alternative energy,” she said.

The Ambassador however noted that some investors are held back owing to the lack of transparent pathways to making investments, especially in the energy sector.

“And then I hate to keep raising this, but the general ease of doing business.  It is just opaque to do business here.  There is a Board of Investment and they obviously can clear many, many hurdles but who’s the right person to talk to?  How does the company know that the timelines that have been put forward are going to stick?  Do they have assurances that agreements made are going to be followed up on?  All of these things are a little bit lacking in a business environment here, and it takes a very persistent company to pursue its objectives,” she added.

Teplitz said that, going forward, there are many opportunities in Sri Lanka but there are also many challenges and those challenges need to be addressed. (Colombo Gazette)

3 COMMENTS

  1. Ambassador Teplitz is obviously a highly capable woman shackled by the constraints of ill conceived American policies. The delivery and dissemination of which have been seriously flawed.

    American foreign policy in Sri Lanka has not only served to estrange the people of this nation, but also increase hostility towards the United States because of the obvious and manifest self interest of its agenda.

    The Ambassador should be well aware that the tender procurement process exists solely for Ministerial “wage subsidising”. Any expediting of a project requires a payment of a bribe as it progresses through the various “authorities”. Everyone doing business in Sri Lanka is well aware of that.

    Is the Ambassador being diplomatic about the level of corruption in Sri Lanka or is she an absolute neophyte ?

    The United States has the resources to expose the ‘money trail’ from all the corrupt Ministerial activities. Yet it remains reticent. And the majority of Sri Lankan’s live in poverty.

    The American battle strategy is currently misguided. Trying to elicit transparency and good governance from an institution (cabinet) corrupted since INDEPENDENCE is nothing but INSANITY !!!

  2. Sri Lanka would not have gone backward in economy, if the West didn’t support Adele Balasingham to encourage child suicides and Tamil diaspora to fund the terrorism in Sri Lanka. Remember, the US has been maintaining its relationship with the Tamil diaspora organisations which were banned by the Sri Lankan government.

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