Board of Directors: Seated (from left) Arushan Yogalingam, Shashinie Perera, Sujanie Abayakoon Dr. Yoojin Lee-Sedera, Dr. Ruchika Ranasinghe and Daya Gamage Standing (from left) Lalaindra Wickremaratne, Piyal Jayasankha, Sanje Sedera (President), Aruna Abayakoon, Douglas Perera and Pradeep Perera
The Sri Lanka-America Chamber of Commerce, in American was inaugurated and established on Dec 9 by a group of professional Sri Lankan expatriates centering the City of Las Vegas with the blessings of the United States Congressional leaders.
The Sri Lankan expatriates selected the City of Las Vegas to make it the Chamber’s headquarters because of the global attraction it has for international conventions that brings trade and commerce activist leaders and influential economic peddlers to the city.
Sensing the importance of a twin-nation commerce, trade and investment arrangement of this nature that could bring more meaningful economic engagement between the United States and Sri Lanka, five Members of U.S. Congress – both House and Senate – apart from sending their immediate staff to the event, communicated through video messages, commending the initiators of the Chamber project, some of whom they knew, and aired congratulatory messages. They expressed confidence that the Chamber could bring conducive atmosphere for American entrepreneurs to search avenues for investments and economic enhancement in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s new Ambassador to Washington, Mahinda Samarasinghe, delivered a congratulatory message on a video clip.
The Sri Lanka Consul-General for the Western States of the United States Dr. Lalith Chandradasa, and Minister-Counsellor of Commerce of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington, Charitha Yattogoda, represented the Government of Sri Lanka.
The nine-member Board of Directors of the Sri Lanka-America Chamber of Commerce is led, as President, by Sanje Sedera, who maintains close rapport and discourses with lawmakers in both the U.S. House and Senate, and being a leading entrepreneur himself, is destined to work with another accredited 12 directors who have higher academic achievements in business management, investment, public affairs and public diplomacy, and broad knowledge of the manner in which global trade and commerce work, as well as the deep understanding of the manner in which the American system functions, including the agencies and departments in Washington, the Chamber intents to work with.
State of Nevada Judge Kalani Hoo administered the oath of office of the Board of Directors and the key-note address was delivered by States of California and Nevada leading entrepreneur and Taiwanese-American professional Teddy Liaw.
The Chamber proposes developing an action plan to set up economic ties at Macro and Micro levels. At the micro-level, Sri Lanka-America Chamber of Commerce will be targeting small and medium entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka to provide a firm launching platform to their products and services to global markets. The Chamber has currently established an e-commerce platform to fulfill this task, and it was announced at the December 9 inaugural session.
At the macro level the Chamber intends of exploring “Sister City” concept to tie up with the newly developed Port City Colombo, in Sri Lanka, with a major metropolitan city in the United States, to promote trade and commerce, and discussions were initiated by President Sanje Sedera and President-Elect for the Years 2023-2025 Aruna Abayakoon with Sri Lanka Consul-General for Western United States Dr. Lalith Chandradasa and Washington Sri Lanka Embassy Minister-Counsellor Charitha Yattogoda during their visit to Las Vegas to attend the Chamber’s inauguration.
To strengthen the nonprofit groups who are dedicated to alleviate people out of poverty in Sri Lanka and to strengthen the micro entrepreneurs, the Sri Lanka-America Chamber of Commerce has developed a comprehensive plan to allocate resources. Just recently the Chamber was able to finalise an MOU with the “Mother Sri Lanka”, one of the largest nonprofit groups in Sri Lanka, headed by Dr. Janaki Kuruppu.