US nominee to Sri Lanka committed to counter Chinese investments

The US nominee to Sri Lanka Elizabeth K. Horst says she is committed to do more to counter Chinese investments in the country.

Responding to a question posed to her by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Horst said that the US has an alternative and better model to offer Sri Lanka.

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee questioned Horst on the possibility of urging Sri Lanka to maintain a moratorium on Chinese research vessels entering Sri Lankan waters.

Horst said that if confirmed she will discuss the moratorium issue but also ensure fair and equal access to ships from the US.

The nominee to be the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee that if confirmed she will support members of marginalized populations in Sri Lanka, accountability, truth and reconciliation, and transparency and justice.

“Sri Lanka is a vital partner to the United States in the Indo-Pacific region, and it has been for over 76 years. If confirmed, I would focus on three main pillars of the U.S.-Sri Lanka relationship: broadening our economic cooperation, bolstering our security interests, and deepening our ties with Sri Lanka’s diverse and vibrant population,” she said in her opening statement.

Horst said that Sri Lanka’s economy has great potential and strengthening trade relations, encouraging private sector-led growth, and promoting inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship are key aspects of her vision for enhancing economic ties between both countries.

She also said that while healing from the civil war that ended in 2009 and from the political and economic crises of 2022, Sri Lanka continues to make steady progress in the face of remarkable internal and external challenges.

The nominee said that today, as Sri Lanka regains its economic footing and
confidence, the US will continue to be a strong partner to support the Sri Lankan

US Senate Foreign Relations Committee also appreciated the role played by current US Ambassador Julie Chung.

Horst said that if confirmed she will look to continue the work of Ambassador Julie Chung.