US team in town for TIFA talks

Monday, 11 October 2010 23:40 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

THE delegation that is set to participate in ‘Trade and Investment Framework Agreement’ talks better known as the TIFA talks organised by American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Sri Lanka is now in Sri Lanka to attend the various dialogues and planned events leading up to the talks.

A total of 23 delegates are set to come to Colombo out of which an approximate 15 has now arrived in Sri Lanka. Among the delegates is Assistant US Trade Representative for Central and South Asia Micheal Delany, Senior Advisor at US State Department Tim Gilman, six other delegates from the USA and seven other delegates from India.

All delegates will participate in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) talks while only a selected few will participate in the official dialogue between the two countries as the norm of TIFA talks.

The group will today start its journey to Jaffna, the capital city of Northern Sri Lanka. The delegation is expected to gather first-hand information on the area and its business potential. They would also look at investment opportunities in the Peninsula.

The Indian delegation which is already in Sri Lanka consists of Managing Director of BD India Manoj Gopalakrishna, whose business interest with Sri Lanka lies on priority patient safety and infection control in hospitals of Sri Lanka, expanding areas to cervical cancer and TB diagnosis, and providing support for Life Sciences research through enhancing capabilities of cell analysis;  Country Manager of E.I. du Pont de Nemors and Company with business interest in construction, highways, agriculture, health and nutrition; Executive Director of KPMG Advisory Services Private Limited Narayan Ramaswamy with interest in education, financial services, infrastructure, leisure and tourism; Director corporate Affairs Mars International India Nitin Kulkarni, and Marketing Manager of Indian Sub Continent for Mars International India Sherwyn Xavier with focus on snack food and pet food; Associate Director of PrincewaterhouseCoopers Private Limited Somrick Goswami to meet PwC Sri Lanka for cross border opportunities, and Deputy Executive Director of AmCham India Madhvi Kataria.

“Executive Vice President and President-Asia of America Tower Corporation Amit Sharma with focus on telecom infrastructure, and Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications of Coca Cola India Deepak Jolly with interest in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) is set to arrive in Sri Lanka for the PPP talks,” Executive Director of AmCham Chullanté Jayasuriya told the Daily FT yesterday.

From the list of participants from USA, Consul for International Trade and Government Affairs of Limited Brands Inc Mark Neuman is set to participate in the Jaffna visit along with Technical Adviser and Investor of Agriculture, Agro Processing and Agricultural Export Dr. Armugam Kandiah; President of Pets V Care Animal Hospital Bernard Peiris, Chairman/ CEO of Imminent Technologies DiNi communications Inc Prashanth Wijedasa, Vice President of Electro-motive Diesel Inc Albert Enste and Vice President of Telesource Corporation William Patrick McFadden, are to arrive he further said.

Their fields of interests includes apparel, horticulture and horticulture products, coconut water and virgin coconut oil production and export, agriculture and livestock, aviation projects, IT consultancy and security, locomotive business and voice and data equipment, in that order.

Vice President of International Development of A&E Robert Hallett with interest in industrial and consumer sewing products, Director of Brandot International Limited John Welch, Senior Vice President of Brandot International Limited Robart Wade, Chief Executive Officer of Brandot International Limited Martin Trust, Chief Operations Officer of Brandot International Limited Kanishka Wijayasiri with the local apparel industry targeted along with president of Elsie Fine Art Jewellery Manjula de Silva keen to explore jewellery manufacturing with Sri Lanka is set to come for the PPP talks on 13 October.

The conference, scheduled to be held on 13 October will see the participation of leading trade personalities such as Secretary to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Tilak Collure, Sri Lanka’s  Ambassador to the US Jaliya Wickramasuriya, US Ambassador in Sri Lanka Patricia Butenis, and Assistant US Trade Representative for Central and South Asia Micheal Delany.

 Governor of the CBSL Ajith Nivard Cabraal and the Chairman of BOI Jayampathi Bandaranayake will make presentations on “Economic challenges and role of private sector” and “Emerging trade and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.” US investor and President of Brandot International Martin Trust is to speak on “Successful investment partnership in Sri Lanka.”

 “A US government official and a senior cabinet member will also be in attendance. A panel discussion on tourism, IT, fisheries and textile products will also be held on the same day,” Jayasuriya said

He stressed that official talks between the two governments will be held on 14 October and that the foreign party led by Assistant US Trade Representative for Central and South Asia Micheal Delany and Senior Advisor at US State Department Tim Gilman will meet several senior government officials to discuss matters. Chances of the party meeting President Mahinda Rajapaksa are high, although Jayasuriya could not confirm of any arrangements.