Colombo, January 14 (newsin.asia): Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told the visiting Deputy Assitant to US President Donald Trump Lisa Curtis and Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Alice G Wales on Tuesday, that a decision on the controversial Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact will be taken considering the views of the people and after the expert committee which is going into it comes out with its report.
“It is important to address the concerns of the people. As both countries respect democracy, it is important to present a solution that will be acceptable to the people,” Gotabaya said.
“The proposal is therefore now being reviewed by a Panel of Experts. This group will also study other countries’ experience with the MCC and the impact its projects had on those countries,” the President added.
Delineating his development priorities, Gotabaya said these centered around poverty alleviation and economic development for all.
To create a business-friendly environment steps such as a simplified tax system have already been taken, he said. Education, agriculture, technology-based industries, tourism are some of the areas the government is keen to develop.
Gotabaya pointed out that, currently, the US is Sri Lanka’s largest apparels buyer. But as Sri Lanka is ready for IT, and technology-based industries, the President invited the US to invest in these sectors.
Addressing US concerns regarding the Indian Ocean region, the President assured Wells that Sri Lanka will follow a policy of neutrality.
“As such, Sri Lanka will ensure that the Island’s relations with countries do not cause any concern for other countries in the region,” he assured.
US officials Lisa Curtis and Alice Wells appreciated the steps taken and the meeting ended on a positive note, a press release from the Presidential Media Division said.
(The picture at the top shows Gotabaya Rajapaksa meeting US officials Lisa Curtis, Alice Wells, and Ambassador-AlainaTeplitz)