Sri Lanka-USA Business Council holds 4th AGM

Sri Lanka – USA Business Council (SLUSABC) which functions under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held its 04th Annual General Meeting on 17th September 2020, re-electing Dr. Asanka Ratnayake, Director, Hayleys Advantis Ltd as the President of the SLUSABC for 2020/2021 Her Excellency Alaina B. Teplitz, the Ambassador of the United States of America to Sri Lanka and the Maldives was the Chief Guest. In her address, H. E. Alaina B. Teplitz said, “Trade can still grow and one way Sri Lankan companies can maximize trade with the United States is to take better advantage of existing trade preferences.  For example, did you know that exports under the Generalized System of Preferences or GSP accounted for 5.32 percent of the total exports to the U.S. in 2019?  That seems like a very small percentage.  A total of 196 million in exports were eligible for cost savings under GSP.  This is a marketing advantage that Sri Lankan firms should be broadcasting to prospective buyers as a reason to buy from these companies.  It’s an advantage that, in fact, we do not want to be kept a secret.  We want Sri Lankan businesses to know about these opportunities, which is why the embassy facilitated discussions as recently as last week explaining how GSP exporters can take better advantage of GSP benefits and we’ll continue to discuss that topic if there is further interest”. President of the Council, Dr. Asanka Ratnayake mentioned that, “Today, we are all faced with an unforeseen challenge, that is, Covid-19 pandemic – which is the biggest disruptor of life and commercial activities in the recent history. It has transformed the world. We can either lead this transformation or we can wait for it to disrupt us. However, the Pandemic also gives us reasons to be optimistic. In the recent years, Sri Lanka has been increasingly featured in discussions on the Asian Geopolitical Environment. Undoubtedly our strategic location across the Indian Ocean sea-lanes has been attracting the interest of major powers such as India, China and more recently, Japan and the US. Whist this has its own merits and de-merits, I hope Sri Lanka will be able to withstand to play a new role on Asia’s rapidly changing geopolitical stage and convert it to country’s own long-term economic benefit.” Mr. Sanji De Silva, Bileeta (Pvt) Ltd was elected as the Vice president and Mr. Mohan Mendis, Heritage Teas (Pvt) Ltd was elected as the Treasurer for the period 2020/2021. CBL Natural Foods (Pvt) Ltd, Dipped Products PLC, Fanam International (Pvt) Ltd, Global Rubber Industries Pvt Ltd, HVA Foods PLC, MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd and Regency Teas (Pvt) Ltd were elected from the membership to serve on the Executive Committee of the Council. Photo Caption:  Seated from L-R: Ms. Dinithi Dias, Manager Business Council, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce; Mr. Sanji De Silva, Vice President SLUSABC; Her Excellency Alaina B. Teplitz, the Ambassador of the United States of America to Sri Lanka and the Maldives; Dr. Asanka Ratnayake, President SLUSABC; Mr. Mohan Mendis, Treasurer SLUSABC; Mr. Samantha Rajapaksha, Immediate Past President SLUSABC. Standing from L-R: Mr. Charithra Hettiarachchi, HVA Foods PLC; Mr. Waruna Randeewa, CBL Natural Foods (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Tilak Gunawardena, MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Sanjaya Samararatne, Global Rubber Industries (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Shane Perera, Regency Teas (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Indika Kulathunga, Dipped Products PLC; Mr. Farhath Armith, Fanam International (Pvt) Ltd.  

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