Sri Lanka in push for stronger economic ties with US

July 17, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is pushing for stronger economic ties with the United States which will strengthen overall diplomatic relations between the two countries, a top diplomat said. “At this point we have a very straightforward and genuine relationship with the US,” Sri Lanka’s envoy to the United States, Jaliya Wickremasuriya said.

“We don’t agree to everything the US says nor do we say no to everything. In the future we should do more business with the US and take our relationship to the next level.”

The US is Sri Lanka’s biggest trading partner with 22 percent of the island’s exports- mostly garments going to the American market.

The two countries trade goods to the value of around 2.4 billion US dollars out of which Sri Lankan exports fetch around 2.15 billion US dollars.

US-based investors bought about half of billion US dollar sovereign bond last year, and a similar pattern has been seen in earlier sovereign bonds.

Templeton, a US based fund management group is perhaps the largest foreign holder of rupee securities.

Diplomatic relations with the United States have clouded by pressure on Sri Lanka to investigate alleged war crimes by soldiers a