(L. to R.)
Sampath Wickremerathne, Minister (Defense) /Sri Lanka Embassy, Nalaka Dias, Treasurer/USASLCC, Dillan Ariyawansa, President / USASLCC, H. E. Mahinda Samarasinghe / Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the US, Rohana Ambagolla / Deputy Chief of Mission, Sri Lanka Embassy, Vajira Mendis, Vice-President/USASLCC, Nihal Mendis, Member /USASLCC, Nimal Karunatilake, Director /USASLCC, and Prashantha Ratnayake, Secretary / USASLCC
The New York-based USA-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce (USASLCC) and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington DC have agreed to work in close collaboration to enhance trade, investment, and tourism between the two countries. This understanding was reached at a meeting held on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington DC, between H. E. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States and Mr. Dillan Ariyawansa, President, USASLCC, making it the first official meeting between the newly appointed Ambassador Samarasinghe and the President of USASLCC. Several senior embassy officials and board members of the USASLCC also participated in the meeting.
During their opening remarks, both the Ambassador and the USASLCC President acknowledged the importance of diversifying Sri Lanka’s export basket, which is heavily dependent on apparel & textiles. They also agreed that their collaborative efforts should pay special attention to the needs of the SME sector. In this context, President of the USASLCC said that his chamber has already crafted an ambitious plan of action with special emphasis on facilitation of trade and investment projects of SME businesses.
Ambassador Samarasinghe stressed that Sri Lanka’s export community should make every possible effort to take full advantage of the U.S. GSP program, which offers duty free market access for a wide range of products, except apparel & textiles. He also pointed out that the U.S.-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) provided an ideal platform for the two countries to pursue mutual cooperation in the fields of trade, investment and tourism.