In April 2018, the agoa and MCA modernization laws gave MCC the power to enter into parallel pacts to promote cross-border economic integration, trade and cooperation. In December 2018, the MCC`s Board of Directors selected five West African countries for parallel pacts: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d`Ivoire, Ghana and Niger. In response to the Ghanaian government`s decision to terminate the concession agreement between Electric Company of Ghana Ltd (ECG) to private operator Power Distribution Services Ghana Ltd (PDS), the MCC Board of Directors did not select Ghana for regional investments in 2019. In recent months, China has made considerable and highly visible efforts to help Sri Lanka – and the response of many other countries – to the COVID 19 pandemic, including a $500 million concession contract signed in March. The opposition`s argument that the agreement should be suspended until after the elections also carries serious risks of losing the entire subsidy due to Sri Lanka`s recentgradation to higher middle income status. Recently, Nepalese citizens, politicians and the media asked questions about the Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) in Nepal. We welcome your questions and the commitment of the Nepalese public to understand the benefits that the program would bring to Nepal, since the MCC was created as a new model of international development based on transparency and true partnership. The second argument is that the GCC agreement is an attempt to undermine Sri Lanka`s national security. While both allegations have been disputed by MCC country director Jenner Edelman, there remains a suspicion. Some politicians and civil society groups have linked the proposed pact to the GCC to other more open security agreements, such as the U.S. Agreement on the Status of the Armed Forces, which sets the framework for the U.S.
military`s entry into Sri Lanka, which critics have seen as an attempt to create a U.S. military base. , or even a possible base in the country. U.S. officials called the claim “blatant misinformation.” Indeed, Sri Lanka is often cited as a case study of debt trap diplomacy in the region and it is legitimate to argue that the government should be vigilant in reviewing the terms of future development agreements. Under President Donald Trump`s administration, U.S. development commitment is increasingly tied to America`s geopolitical and economic competition with China. The government has called for a “clear choice” program to convince development partners that U.S. government assistance is more beneficial and less risky than China offers through its Belt and Road initiative and other international infrastructure financing efforts. While it is important for Sri Lanka to consider all the modalities of implementation of the pact, it is equally important to consider the benefits that could be lost if the government continued to delay the approval of the agreement. But what remains of Sri Lanka, given the breadth of public opinion, with other negotiating options, ministerial advice and the approval stamp of the Attorney General (GA)? The main points of contention are: where does the money go and what does this funding mean? In accordance with the draft publicly available agreement, the MCC is providing this grant to address two of the “binding constraints” that Sri Lanka imposes on economic growth: (a) inadequate infrastructure and transport logistics planning and (b) lack of access to land for agriculture, services and industrial investors.