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US Expresses Ongoing Interest in Financial Cooperation with Sri Lanka After Half-Billion Dollar Port Investment

The United States (US), having invested a substantial half-billion dollars in the development of Colombo Port’s West Container Terminal, has signaled its interest in engaging in comparable financial collaborations with Sri Lanka.

This revelation emerged during meetings between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Richard Verma, and Sri Lankan leaders during his recent visit to the country. In the preceding year, the US, through its International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), extended a loan of US $553 million to the Colombo West International Terminal Private Limited for the advancement of the deep-water West Container Terminal within the Port of Colombo. The establishment of this institution reflects the US’s strategic move in international development financing, positioning itself against China in the global arena.

During his visit to Sri Lanka, Mr. Verma engaged with President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, expressing continued support for Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring process. Additionally, he reportedly raised concerns about the Online Safety Act, with the Sri Lankan side assuring him of imminent amendments to the Act.

Mr. Verma’s tour, spanning Sri Lanka, India, and the Maldives from February 18 to 23, aimed at reinforcing U.S. cooperation with these vital Indo-Pacific partners. This diplomatic effort follows the launch of the US Indo-Pacific Strategy on February 11, 2022. The United States has actively collaborated with allies and partners in building what it terms an Indo-Pacific region characterized by freedom, openness, connectivity, prosperity, security, and resilience.

This strategic approach by the US, alongside countries like India, unfolds against the backdrop of China’s increasing influence in the region.

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