US and Sri Lanka share a clear interest in Indo-Pacific connectivity and prosperity: Chung

US Ambassador Julie J. Chung



  • New envoy of the USA shares key spotlight of core parts of our Indo-Pacific Technique at Pathfinder Basis Part II of the Indian Ocean Safety Convention


The Pathfinder Basis Part II of the Indian Ocean Safety Convention was held on a digital platform on 4 March. Pathfinder Basis Chairman Bernard Goonetilleke and former Ambassador, Nationwide Safety Advisor and Overseas Secretary of India Shivshankar Menon function Co-Chairs of the Convention. Former Ambassador of Sri Lanka Geetha de Silva information the convention proceedings as Secretary-Basic. Listed here are excerpts of the speech made by the brand new US Ambassador Julie J. Chung. The complete program can also be obtainable at


I arrived in Sri Lanka not too long ago and simply introduced my credentials one week in the past immediately so it’s a nice honour to be taking part in my first convention right here, and on such an necessary subject as safety and prosperity within the Indian Ocean, and our shared objectives.

I’m very happy to have the ability to be part of you on the opening of this convention that can look at how we’d work collectively to advance safety within the Indian Ocean area. I need to begin by recognising the Pathfinder Basis and convention organisers Ambassadors Silva, Goonetilleke and Menon, and the Embassy of Japan for gathering us collectively for this necessary dialog.

We proceed the fruitful dialogue on this subject led by the Pathfinder Basis in November 2020. One of many themes raised at that convention was how improved regional connectivity would strengthen growth all through the area. Associated to that had been considerations in regards to the affect of COVID-19 on growth. Over the past two years, this pandemic has made undeniably clear that we’re solely as sturdy as our collective capability to answer challenges, notably new and rising world threats such because the impacts of local weather change.

It has additionally underscored the necessity to work with companions to adapt regional governance to turn out to be extra resilient to those and different rising twenty first century threats. For instance, as President Biden and Particular Presidential Envoy for Local weather Change John Kerry have made clear, the USA is dedicated to working with companions to cut back their vulnerability to the impacts of local weather and can assist the event of catastrophe resilient infrastructure and deal with power safety.

I very a lot admire the chance to briefly talk about in these opening remarks the significance of the Indian Ocean inside a broader Indo-Pacific context. I believe everyone knows that the Indian Ocean is a crucial lifeline for the world’s commerce as a result of sea lanes -passing inside 10 miles of Sri Lanka-carrying half of the world’s container ships, a 3rd of the world’s bulk cargo site visitors, and two-thirds of the world’s oil shipments. As such, safety of the Indian Ocean is a key linchpin for the general Indo-Pacific, which is the quickest rising area on the planet, accounting for 60% of the world financial system and two-thirds of all financial development over the past 5 years. And Sri Lanka is a key a part of that linchpin and will take satisfaction and a management function within the area.

The US is a proud Indo-Pacific nation and our imaginative and prescient for the area, as specified by the not too long ago launched Indo-Pacific Technique, is centred on 5 core parts. After I say the Indo-Pacific Technique is “our” imaginative and prescient for the area, I don’t imply it’s only a imaginative and prescient of the USA. Reasonably, I imply to recommend that-whether we realise it or not–that is really a shared imaginative and prescient, primarily based on collective pursuits and collaborative partnerships, for an Indo-Pacific that’s free and open, linked, affluent, resilient and safe. So let me briefly spotlight the core parts of our Indo-Pacific Technique.

First, we are going to proceed to work to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific. Along with rule-based and responsive governance, this additionally signifies that items and concepts and other people can movement freely – throughout land, air, our on-line world and most critically right here, the open seas. Given Sri Lanka’s key geostrategic place, subsequent to key sea lanes important to world commerce, it’s no shock that Sri Lanka invests in shipping-related industries, equivalent to ports and ship constructing. However these industries and Sri Lanka’s connectivity to the world, are depending on having freedom of navigation to make use of sea lanes – along with freedom of over flight – which is why we now have a shared curiosity in a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.

Second, we are going to look to forge stronger connections to construct collective capability inside and past the area. We recognise that no nation can form the way forward for the area by itself and {that a} strong community of sovereign international locations cooperating to safe their collective pursuits have to be an integral a part of any imaginative and prescient for the area. Third, we are going to promote broad-based regional prosperity. The US has supplied greater than a trillion {dollars} in overseas direct funding within the Indo-Pacific and at President Biden’s path, we’re taking a look at easy methods to do extra.

We’re creating a complete Indo-Pacific Financial Framework for shared goals, together with key areas equivalent to local weather and clear power, honest commerce facilitation, resilient provide chains, and different priorities. We additionally assist sustainable and inclusive business exercise throughout the area. For instance, the October 2021 Indo-Pacific Enterprise Discussion board, co-hosted by the USA and India, introduced collectively greater than 2,300 enterprise and authorities leaders to advertise financial engagement and highlighted practically $ 7 billion in new non-public sector initiatives. The US and Sri Lanka share a transparent curiosity in Indo-Pacific Connectivity and Prosperity. The US is Sri Lanka’s largest single nation export market, accounting for practically $ 2.8 billion of the $ 11.9 billion of products Sri Lanka exports yearly, and Sri Lankan corporations that export to the USA account for greater than 180,000 jobs in Sri Lanka. 

Prosperity additionally requires an inclusive financial surroundings that leverages Sri Lanka’s belongings which is why, prior to now 12 months, the US Improvement Finance Company has partnered with non-public Sri Lankan banks to supply $ 265 million in financing to make sure small companies have entry to capital to nourish their very own visions.

Fourth, we are going to assist construct regional resilience to transnational threats. The COVID-19 pandemic and the local weather disaster underscore the urgency of this job. The US has despatched greater than 100 million secure, efficient vaccine doses to the Indo-Pacific and supplied over $ 2.8 billion in extra help within the area to avoid wasting lives, for the whole lot from private protecting tools to medical oxygen for hospitals.

This has been achieved freed from cost, with no strings connected. Right here, in Sri Lanka, we now have partnered intently to construct COVID resiliency, donating about 4 million vaccines to Sri Lanka and offering near $ 18 million to assist Sri Lanka’s response and restoration for the reason that pandemic’s outset. We are also working with international locations all through the area, together with in Sri Lanka, to speed up the transition to scrub power and construct local weather resilience.

Lastly, we are going to bolster Indo-Pacific safety. As threats evolve, our safety strategy should evolve too. However we should, and can, acknowledge that our best power is our alliances and partnerships. In doing so, we are going to proceed to supply safety help to strengthen maritime safety and maritime area consciousness, to assist humanitarian help and catastrophe reduction, to fund peacekeeping, and to counter transnational threats.

We can even proceed to carry army workout routines within the Indo-Pacific which can be deliberate and executed with allies, associates and companions to construct trusting relationships, enhance interoperability, and increase accomplice functionality and capability in order that we’re all higher ready to answer the challenges posed by the area.

The US and Sri Lanka have a lot of shared commitments and partnerships to make actual our imaginative and prescient for a Safe Indo-Pacific. As individuals in Sri Lanka effectively know, unlawful, unreported, and unregulated fishing threatens marine ecosystems, meals safety and native economies. That’s the reason each Sri Lanka and the USA are a part of a world settlement to stop illegally caught fish from getting into worldwide markets. 

Smuggling and piracy are additionally each rising challenges, which is why the USA and Sri Lanka are events to a world settlement centered on unlawful trafficking – of individuals, weapons and medicines – and are each a part of Asia’s first regional settlement in opposition to piracy.

Our maritime safety collaboration is clearly evidenced by our partnership with the Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Air Drive to construct capabilities for maritime patrols and interdictions. By way of this partnership, and with vessels supplied to Sri Lanka by the US, Sri Lanka had the biggest drug seizure in its historical past in March 2020. This partnership and these vessels additionally helped defend Sri Lanka’s treasured marine sources after incidents such because the MT New Diamond and MV Pearl-Xpress fires. We have to preserve working to stop such devastating disasters sooner or later.

The US recognises that a lot of our planet’s future will probably be written right here within the Indo-Pacific. And Sri Lanka is on the coronary heart of the Indo Pacific to play a number one function. That’s the reason we now have, and can proceed to have, a permanent dedication to the area and to collaboration with our allies and companions to assist us to attain a free and open, interconnected, affluent, resilient, and safe area for all.

Go to and browse all speeches of the Part II of the Indian Ocean Safety Convention.


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