Inaugurating the session, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the USA Ravinatha Aryasinhasaid, while increasing the value of apparel exports to the US, a concerted effort is presently being made to diversify the export product basket to US. He noted that while the USA has remained the largest single buyer of Sri Lanka’s exports since 1979 and in 2019 had a share of 26.3% of all exports, the products basket to the US had seen very little diversification. Apparel has been the dominant export item accounting for 74.5% of the total value, and did not benefit from GSP facility.
The rest which enjoyed GSP, were mainly rubber based products which accounted for 7%, and the other products included tea, iron and steel articles, activated carbon, precious and semi-precious stones and sea food. The Embassy was reaching out to the OSL community in the US and to Americans who are interested in doing business with Sri Lanka and helping them in identifying the products which they could import from Sri Lanka to the US. The increased production of some of these products could also encourage greater US investment in to Sri Lanka. In the discussion that followed led by Chairman of the NEC Shiham Marikkar, focused on obstacles faced by importers when importing from Sri Lanka including quality assurance, pricing, promotion and communication and shipping and logistics. The need for adaptation to the largely e-commerce marketing strategies to increase exports.
SLEMB/DC Minister (Commercial) Sumedha Ponnamperuma shared insights on the introduction of the US market, import system and current trends.
The participating Sri Lankan professionals residing and doing business in USA shared insights regarding the current market conditions and the opportunities available.
Aruna Abeykoon from Las Vegas discussed obstacles faced by importers when importing from Sri Lanka, Jeevaka Fernando from Los Angeles shared his experience on aspects related to quality assurance, pricing, promotion and communication.
Anjana Aluthwatte provided insights on sales and marketing strategies in the USA, Rick Miller from Virginiaexplained about the shipping and logistics including the including the potential to increase warehouse facilities to help mainly the SMEs exporting to the US in smaller quantities, Udeni Abeykoon from New York focused on the selling of Apparel Products in the US market online and marketing strategies to increase exports. Former Director General/Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka Nimal Karunathilake also shared his experience regarding the regulatory aspects of the USA market. The discussion also focused on the prospects for collaboration between the NCE and the re-activated US-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce. Dilan Ariyawansa of the US-Sri Lanka Chamber, elaborated on the role they proposed to play in the future in the furtherance of two way trade and investment between the US and Sri Lanka.
The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) is the only private sector Chamber which exclusively provides services to Sri Lankan Exporters, who make a vital contribution to the economy of Sri Lanka earning valuable foreign exchange.
The Chamber would like to invite Sri Lankan exporters to hold hands with the chamber’s initiative to enable expanded market access, whereby the destinations where proud Sri Lankan brands reach are expanded.
Interested Sri Lankan exporters are encouraged to contact the chamber via email@example.com to indicate your interest in participating in future event, where the Chamber will register you accordingly.
For more information go to:firstname.lastname@example.org