A role for Sri Lanka in US Pivot to Asia

US Pivot to Asia    A post by Jaliya Wickramasuriya, our Ambassador in the USA, titled “A Role for Sri Lanka in US Pivot to Asia”, it may be ideal to understand how others compete to be in the US pivot to Asia to do business, only in economic terms and exclude issues such as politics, rights, accountability etc; the presently more quoted US interests.

Ambassador Wickramasuriya has focused on the trend of western economic and political power shifting east by reinforcing trade and security alliances across Asia. He suggested examining President Obama’s foreign policy pivots to Asia and the unfolding vision of “America’s Pacific Century.” viz: U.S. strategic relations with Sri Lanka.

“U.S.-India defense relations could be taking shape with each defense dialogue, each defense sale, each military exercise,” another dot being applied to the canvas of U.S.-India defense ties that is slowly, gradually, taking shape as an increasingly important defense partnership.

Further, the institutional aspect was reinforced by Panetta by appointing Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter as the point man for deepening bilateral defense trade. One important recommendation made in the USA on defense business was that India should increase the percentage of foreign direct investments (FDIs) in India’s defense sector to over 50% from 26%, which was inadequate incentive for US companies to invest in India.

On March 15th 2013 Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao’s speaking at a Statesmen’s Forum of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on the “U.S- India Economic Agenda in 2013″ Rao spoke of two extremely insightful and thought-provoking studies (i.e. ‘Bilateral Investment Treaty and Beyond’ and ‘Changing Nature of India- US trade and economic relations’.)

She impressed on the India-U.S. Homeland Security dialogue, launched in 2010 which had identified technology as one of strategic priorities in India-U.S. cooperation in trade and collaboration.

Rao spoke of effects on the Indian Information Technology industry facing regulatory challenges in the USA. In pursuit of broader and deeper India-U.S commercial cooperation, and to address bilateral policy and regulatory concerns,

She stressed that to go forward India and the U.S also need to explore new trade and economic cooperation arrangements with momentum on the Bilateral Investment Treaty, or otherwise, of any future bilateral economic partnership arrangements

How confident and optimistic are we with India or the USA?

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