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16 February 2022

USA-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce unveils its official website in New York

Article by: Prashantha D. Ratnayake, Esq.

USA-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce (USASLCC), founded in 2009 in close collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Sri Lank to the United Nations in New York and the Embassy of Sri Lanka to the United States in the Washington D.C.,  

recently launched its newly designed website in a brief ceremony held at the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York, by His Excellency Mohan Pieris, Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United Nations The website, which was officially unveiled to the world wide web, would serve as an important source of information in facilitating mutually beneficial trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.

proceedings of the evening commenced with Prashantha Ratnayake, Esq., Secretary, formally introducing the Board of Members of the USASLCC who were present at the gathering to H.E. Mohan Pieris, and those who extended their best wishes but were unable join, and likewise, officially introducing H.E. Mohan Pieris to Board Members of the USASLCC. Mr. Dillan Ariyawansa, President; Mr. Prashanth Wijedasa, Vice-President; Prashantha Ratnayake, Esq, Secretary. Mr. Nalaka Dias Treasurer; Dr. Chandana Goonetilleke, Director; Mr. Nimal Karunatillake, Director, and Mr. Vajira Gunawardane, Director were among the gathering, while Ms. Vajira Mendis, Vice-President, and Ms. Rajini Jagoda, Director sent their best wishes.    

Mr. Dillan Ariyawansa, President USASLCC in addressing the gathering, thanked H.E.  Mohan Pieris, Ambassador for providing the Sri Lanka Mission to the United Nations offices as the venue for the launch, and for gracing the occasion as the guest of honor. He further expressed his sincere gratitude to the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington D.C. for the great support demonstrated by its staff, in particular the former Ambassador, His Excellency, Mr. Ravinatha Aryasinha and the former Minister (Commercial), Mr. Sumedha Ponnamperuma for their effective engagement and support in reenergizing the chamber.

Mr. Ariyawansa further added that the unveiling of the newly designed website marked another important milestone in the USASLCC’s journey, and added that the website would create enhanced visibility for the chamber, not only in the United States and Sri Lanka, but all over the world. “It would help USASLCC to inform our target groups of the services we offer and how those services can facilitate their businesses for better results. This website will encourage individuals and businesses to join our chamber and enhance the trade between the two countries,” he said.

H.E Pieris, Ambassador thanking the USASLCC for its initiative said it is an opportune time, in fact an auspicious time, for the relaunch of the newly designed website as it came on the heels of the high-level meetings of the 76th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Stressing on the importance of the USASLCC’s charter objectives, Ambassador Pieris mentioned three important roles. Firstly, the promotion of commercial, industrial, and economical activities between the United States and Sri Lanka. Secondly, the creation and maintenance of an atmosphere of cordial and harmonious business relationships between these two great nations. Thirdly, the chamber should create a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas, information, advice to assist the business communities of both nations, and he extolled the chamber to act as a catalyst in encouraging and promoting business and trade relationships and to put to use the great reservoir of knowledge it possesses.

Mr. Nimal Karunatillake, Director (former Director General of Commerce, Sri Lanka),  speaking on the future vision of the USASLCC highlighted some of the recent achievements and said that USASLCC recently became a member of the US Chamber of Commerce for wider visibility and recognition among the US policymakers and the business community. He added that the USASLCC and the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for enhanced cooperation, and a similar MOU is being negotiated with the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Sri Lanka.

According Mr. Karunatillake, the USASLCC has held preliminary discussions with the Sri Lanka Chamber of Garment Exporters concerning a proposal to establish a USA based warehouse facility for the SME apparel exporters of Sri Lanka.

Mr. Karunatilake further said that the USASLCC is looking forward to providing tailor-made assistance to the business communities of the two countries. The intended services to the chamber membership would, inter alia, include cost-effective logistical solutions for individual business visits, trade delegations and trade fair participation, facilitation of meetings between private sector businesses and trade & investment related government authorities and organization of sector-specific business forums & webinars. He also emphasized the importance of building a closer rapport with the US Congress for the chamber to represent the business community concerns on any policy issues in a more effective manner.

Mr. Karunatilake also added that the chamber was keen in working closely with leading trade chambers and industry associations in Sri Lanka for the purpose of fostering stronger trade and investment linkages between the two countries.

Mr. Charitha Yattogoda Minister (Commercial) of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington D.C., was, also, present on the occasion.

Photo credits: Dammin Senerat

Author : Nalaka
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