Ambassador Wickramasuriya Lauds 200 Years Of Business Ties Between Sri Lanka & The USA
Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC
Published: 16 Oct 2013
Embassy of Sri Lanka hosts the Top Sri Lankan Business Leaders visiting the United States
- By any standard in the world Sri Lanka can be proud of its apparel industry - Minister Sarath Amunugama
- Economic partnerships build the strongest pillar of diplomatic relations - Ambassador Wickramasuriya
- Sri Lanka has a great growth potential for the future - Mr. Michael Delaney
Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya offered accolades to a group of top Sri Lankan business leaders visiting Washington, for their contribution towards the prolific economic relationship between Sri Lanka & the US.
At a dinner reception hosted at the Sri Lanka Residence, Washington DC on Wednesday, October 9, Ambassador Wickramasuriya also commended the two centuries of business ties with the USA, which he called vital for the economic prosperity of Sri Lanka.
“I believe economic partnerships build the strongest pillar of diplomatic relations “, he said. “I am proud to welcome this group of eminent Sri Lankans who are responsible for bringing in the most of Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange” , he added.
Ambassador Wickramasuriya also noted that further strengthening of economic relations with the US is of paramount importance to Sri Lanka as the US is already the single largest export destination of Sri Lankan products. He reaffirmed the Embassy’s commitment to promote trade between the two countries and profoundly thanked the US Embassy, Colombo for the timely initiative to host Sri Lankan business delegation in the US.
The dinner was hosted in honor of the Sri Lanka government delegation attending the World Bank/ IMF annual meetings headed by Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama and the visiting Sri Lankan business delegation sponsored by the US Embassy in Colombo.
Hon. Dr. Sarath Amunugama, the Senior Minister of International Monetary Cooperation & Deputy Minister of Finance & Planning addressing the gathering, thanked the US Embassy in Sri Lanka for organizing the business delegation to the US, and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington DC for the networking opportunity with visiting senior Sri Lankan government officials and the US trade officials.
The minister underscored that the companies headed by the leaders present in the audience should not only be acclaimed for their success but also for their service to the society. He recalled that even the United Nations has recognized MAS and Brandix , the two leading Sri Lankan garment manufacturers for their eco friendly and green production environment.
“I think by any standard anywhere in the world we can be proud of our apparel industry”, he said.
“When people are taking another look , when it is not only the product but the human environment in which this product comes out , then I think Sri Lanka is very proud of having the type of business leaders who are here today”, the Minister added.
Assistant US Trade Representative for Central and South Asia, Mr. Michael Delaney speaking on the occasion said that the United States is proud to be the largest trade partner of Sri Lanka and looking to expand the relationship further.
“We are the biggest single customer for Sri Lanka, and that’s something we are very proud of . We are responsible for tens of thousands of jobs in the Island, and those jobs are not just the numbers, those are families, they support their children, they live up their dreams, their children will go on to lead a better life”, he said.
Mr. Delaney noted the US places a great value in the economic relationships with Sri Lanka and the Office of the US Trade Representative is always looking for ways to expand and grow them. He also commended the US embassy of Sri Lanka for organizing the tour and opined there is tremendous potential for continued growth for business between the two nations.
"Of all the countries that I ‘ve walked in , I would say, Sri Lanka has the greatest potential for rapid growth going forward”, he added.
The representative gathering of US and Sri Lankan guests included members of visiting business delegation: Mr. Mahesh Amalean, Chairman of MAS Holdings; Mr. Ashroff Omar, the Chief Executive Officer of Brandix; Mr. Sumal Perera, Chairman of Access Group; Mr. Ajith Gunawardane, Deputy Chairman of John Keells Group; Mr. Jeevan Gnanam , CEO of Orion Management Consortium; Mr. Keith Modder, Executive Vice President and COO of Virtusa; Mr. Lawrence Perera, CEO of Micro Holdings; and Mr. Niro Cooke , Director of Kings Holdings.
The US Embassy in Sri Lanka with the cooperation of the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) organized the 10 day U.S. visit for the Sri Lankan business delegation. During the visit the delegates attended a number of meetings with US Corporate leaders and government officials in Washington, New York and Boston.
You can watch MAS Holdings Chairman Mahesh Amalean speaking on the future prospects of Sri Lanka's garment industry in a TV interview with Bloomberg during the visit in the following link.
A look at garment manufacturing in Sri Lanka
Watch video on the Embassy YouTube Channel
Hon. Dr. Sarath Amunugama, the Senior Minister of International Cooperation & Deputy Minister of Finance & Planning in Sri Lanka addressing the gathering at the dinner reception hosted at the Sri Lanka Residence, Washington on October 9, 2013.
H.E. Mr. Jaliya Wickramasuriya addressing the gathering at the dinner reception hosted at the Sri Lanka Residence, Washington on October 9, 2013.
Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya with Mr. Michael Delaney, the Assistant US Trade Representative for South Asia at the dinner reception hosted at the Sri Lanka Residence, Washington on October 9, 2013.
Section of the audience at the dinner reception hosted at the Sri Lanka Residence, Washington on October 9, 2013.
Senior Minister Hon. Dr. Sarath Amunugama with Mr. Ajith Gunawardane, Deputy Chairman of John Keells Group and Ms. Sarindee Wickramasuriya at the dinner reception hosted at the Sri Lanka Residence, Washington on October 9, 2013.
Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya with Mr. Mahesh Amalean, the Chairman of MAS Holdings during the dinner reception hosted at the Sri Lanka Residence, Washington on October 9, 2013.
Guests attending the dinner reception hosted at the Sri Lanka Residence, Washington on October 9, 2013.
Mr. Michael Delaney, the Assistant US Trade Representative for South Asia, Mr. Daniel Kronenfeld of the US State Department, and Mr. Mahesh Amalean, the Chairman of MAS Holdings during the dinner reception hosted at the Sri Lanka Residence, Washington on October 9, 2013.