President affirms strong ties with US

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday told visiting American diplomat Alice Wells that when it came to future actions relating to the Millennium Challenge Cooperation (MCC) Agreement, the expectations of the people from both countries should be taken into consideration as both Sri Lanka and the US are countries which respect democracy. The US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells met President Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.

President Rajapaksa told Wells that currently an expert panel is studying the proposals in the MCC agreement, a communiqué issued by the President’s Media Division said.Special attention of the expert panel has been drawn to facts such as how the agreement was enacted in other countries and related experience, the President further explained.President Rajapaksa went on to say that one of the priorities for his government was to eradicate poverty through a speedy development programme.

“The government has taken measures to introduce a simpler tax system and taken other measures to create a conducive economic environment to spur foreign direct investment,” the President said.President Rajapaksa further said that some of the sectors identified as in need of rapid development are education, agriculture, tourism and technological industries.While pointing out that currently the US was the biggest buyer of apparels produced in the country, the President said as Sri Lanka plans to develop the IT and other technology related industries in a big way he would like to invite the US to invest in such ventures.