The government`s progressive policy, including the adoption and implementation of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, has revived bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and the United States, based on common values such as democracy and respect for citizens` rights. But without the help of our international partners, we cannot succeed alone. In this regard, we expect assistance from our traditional friends, such as the United States, that will provide special trade and investment opportunities to stimulate our economy, particularly in conflict-affected areas and areas affected by endemic poverty. Ambassador Froman, I would like to ask your office to work with the U.S. Congress on a similar agenda: a preferential trade program for the promotion of reconciliation and the consolidation of democracy through trade in Sri Lanka. Ambassador Michael Froman, the U.S. Trade Representative, said in his opening address, “This is our first important opportunity to engage on trade and investment issues since last year`s presidential elections in Sri Lanka.” He added: “With the joint action plan we are going to announce today, we hope to develop a series of concrete and specific initiatives to strengthen Sri Lanka`s trade and investment regime and mobilize a large part of the Sri Lankan population to participate in a commercial economy.” (full instruction attached). In these difficult times, when global growth is degraded and international trade is slow, we must ask our people to tighten their belts in order to achieve fiscal consolidation, the stability of external balances and the increase in external reserves and contain inflation. At the end of the meeting, the two delegations viewed the results of their commitment as an important step forward in improving bilateral trade and investment opportunities between the two countries. While a special trade preferences programme is our immediate priority, we would also like to discuss with you the development of a process that would make it realistic for Sri Lanka to consider membership of the TPP below.