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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 109

Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Exhibition in Los Angeles to focus its Potential and Opportunity for US Entrepreneurs

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

Los Angeles, California. 27 May ( Sri Lanka Consul General in Los Angeles, California Jaliya Wickremasuriya does not want the South Asian nation he represents to be popularly known in the United States for its disasters and calamities such as the deadly tsunami or the separatist Tamil Tiger movement’s terrorist activities.

Since he assumed duties in February this year as his country’s top diplomat for eleven western states in the United States, Wickremasuriya’s foremost endeavor was to make American investors and business entrepreneurs aware of the great potential Sri Lanka could offer as a paradise of investor friendly atmosphere.

The Sri Lankan consul general, who himself is an accomplished investor and businessman well knowledgeable of the American terrain due to his long association with the business environment in this country, slowly built the capital city of the most populous and wealthiest state of the Union as a rendezvous of Sri Lankan and American investors and entrepreneurs.

The culmination of Jaliya Wickremasuriya’s untiring effort was the “Focus Sri Lanka 2007” trade, investment and tourism exhibition scheduled for Monday, May 28 and Tuesday, May 29 at California Market Center at the 9th Street in Los Angeles.

It is indeed a rendezvous for Sri Lankan and American businessmen, and the latter will learn that despite the disasters like tsunami hit this South Asian nation and sporadic violence in the northern part of the country due to Tamil Tiger terrorism, Sri Lanka had an impressive economic growth in the past decade or so. It is with the dissemination of this favorable scenario that the Sri Lanka Consulate General office expects to tie a lasting bond between the two countries’ entrepreneurs at this “Focus Sri Lanka” exhibition in Los Angeles on May 28-29.

This very ambitious project of the Sri Lanka Consulate General Office in Los Angeles, during these two days while presenting cultural shows, is geared to educate the Americans of the potential in Sri Lanka and familiarize the visiting Sri Lankan businessmen and investors to the American trade environment to make it easier for them to interact with American counterparts, said Consul General Wickremasuriya to ‘Asian Tribune’ on eve of the “Focus Sri Lanka 2007” exhibition.

The two-day event will also disseminate his South Asian nation’s rich cultural heritage, the attractive tourist destinations in the island, it beautiful and eye-catching topography which are conducive atmosphere for the Hollywood film-makers to use Sri Lanka as their future film location, Wickremasuriya further noted.

Apart from the promotion of trade, investment and tourism, the Sri Lanka diplomatic post in Los Angeles will use the “Focus Sri Lanka” exhibition to display the country’s wide range of precious gems, extremely high quality of apparel ware which are found and popular in Caesar’s Forum Shops in the ‘entertainment capital’ Las Vegas, natural/organic products, the world famous Ceylon Tea and Sri Lanka’s indigenous Ayurvedic medicines that are fast catching in the United States as alternative medicines.

For this endeavor, Consul General Jaliya Wickremasuriya tells ‘Asian Tribune’ that more than twenty Sri Lankan trade and investment entities will participate in the “Focus Sri Lanka” exhibition.

The highlight of the two-day exhibition in Los Angeles on May 28-29 will be the performance of the world famous Sri Lankan dance troupe ‘Channa-Upuli Dance Ensemble’ which has made presentation in most of the world capitals during the past two decades.

The child star of the 2007 Grammy Awards winning film ‘Water’ Sarala Kariyawansam will make herself available at the “Focus Sri Lanka” exhibition. So are the Sri Lankan Test cricketers who just became the First Runner Up in the recently concluded World Series in the West Indies.

With the arrival of the diplomatic corps led by Sri Lanka ambassador to the United States Bernard Goonetilleke at little after 4:00 pm on Monday May 28 at the California Market Center at 9th Street in Los Angeles, the participants will have the opportunity to brows the “Cash and Carry” exhibit Hall preview and meet Sri Lankan exporters and buy merchandise.

At a reception that starts at 5:30 pm, the invitees and participants will get the opportunity to meet child actress Sarala of Film Water.This will followed by the cultural show presented by the Channa-Upuli Dance Ensemble.

On Tuesday, May 29, the “focus Sri Lanka” exhibit hall is open to wholesale buyers.

‘Asian Tribune” understands that the Los Angeles consulate general’s Trade Office led by its counselor Gamini Pemasiri with about sixty volunteers rallied around consul general Wickremasuriya to organize this trade, investment and tourism event which is unprecedented in the history of Sri Lanka’s diplomatic presence in the United States.

The Consul of Commerce of the Sri Lanka Consulate Gamini Pemasiri in an earlier interview told ‘Asian Tribune’ that “Focus Sri Lanka will bring together approximately 40 innovative Sri Lankan exporters with serious American buyers in search of extraordinarily unique imports.”

Consul General Wickremasuriya is confident that the success of Focus Sri Lanka 2007 will undoubtedly open a new chapter of trade, investment and commerce between the United States and Sri Lanka. After all, there are eleven Western States in the United States that are under Wickremasuriya’s wing to create a favorable political, economic and diplomatic atmosphere to give further fillip to his South Asian nation’s already impressive growth rate. Wickremasuriya and his staff in Los Angeles is doing just that to make Sri Lanka known not for her disasters like tsunami but a land of opportunity for Americans and their Sri Lankan counterparts for mutual benefit of their respective nations.

- Asian Tribune -

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