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Cablegate: Business Facilitation Incentive Fund End

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 002131

SIPDIS

FOR EB/CBA DENNIS WINSTEAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: BEXP BTIO ETRD ABUD CE MV ECONOMICS
SUBJECT: BUSINESS FACILITATION INCENTIVE FUND END
OF YEAR REPORT

REF: STATE 18409

1. Post is pleased to inform EB/CBA of the
completion of all activities approved under FY2002
BFIF funding. Post will fax copies of receipts as
requested.

2. Following is the expenditure summary for BFIF
projects, 2002:

Project 1: American Fair - trade/catalog show
---------------------------------------------
Conference hall & related costs(3 days) $1,025.00
Promotional expenses $1,743
Product acquisition charges $100.00
Shipment & handling charges (Colombo/Male')$720.00
Transport/handling/clearing/re-shipment charges
(Male'/Colombo)$1,351.00
Booth contractors' charges $3,208.00
Clearing charges (Colombo)$234.00
Embassy officials travel & per diem:
Airfare $320.00
Per diem $2,206.00
Subtotal $10,907.00

Project 2: Commercial Outreach - India
--------------------------------------
Travel & Per diem:
Airfare $633.00
Per diem $937.00
Subtotal $1,570.00

Project 3: Commercial Outreach - Singapore
------------------------------------------
Travel & Per diem:
Airfare $544.00
Per diem $958.00
Subtotal $1,502.00

3. Following are the programmatic reports for BFIF
projects, 2002:

--Project 1: American Fair Trade/Catalog Show
Post organized the 4th US trade event in Male,
capital of the Maldives, from September 30-October
1, 2002. For the first time, the show included
booths staffed by representatives of six US
companies. A multi-product catalog show was also
featured at this event with over seventy American
companies providing literature in a wide range of
sectors. This event was aimed at introducing new
products and technologies that are particularly
appropriate to the Maldives' particular needs.

The show was well received by the Maldivian
business community with around 175 visitors over
the course of the two-day show (in a city of
approx. 70,000). The companies promoting wind
power generation, solar panels, vinyl piling and
soil technology generated much interest. Companies
selling small generators also received a lot of
attention. There was considerable interest in the
range of food and beverage brands on display, with
visitors interested in possible commercial tie-ups
with the US supplier. The environmental catalogs,
especially technology on alternate energy, also
generated much interest among visitors, as did
educational and construction material catalogs.

An additional forty invitees attended the
inauguration of the fair. The chief guest, Dr.
Ahmed Shaheed, Permanent Secretary of the MFA,
opened the show with a talk about the importance of
trade and strong relations with the US. Other
invitees included the President and Board of
Directors of the Maldivian Chamber of Commerce,
government officials and businessmen. The
inauguration ceremony appeared on national
television.

The promotional strategy included a TV ad, flyers
in major newspapers, banners and direct mailers.

-- Project 2: Commercial travel to India.
Econ/Comm Officer traveled October 14-19 to the
three major Indian commercial cities (Mumbai, Delhi
and Chennai), holding consultations with U.S.
firms, local AmChams and FCS counterparts in each.
The visit led to several initiatives that post is
now assist U.S. businesses on: Fuller India, a
subsidiary of U.S. cement firm Fuller, is looking
at rehabilitating an aging cement factory in Sri
Lanka; Honeywell India is planning to enter the Sri
Lankan specialty chemicals market; and Heinz India
is studying whether to open a packaging facility in
Sri Lanka. In addition, AmCham India committed
during the visit to lead a delegation to Sri Lanka,
which will lead to new tie-ups among American firms
active in South Asia.

--Project 3: Commercial travel to Singapore.
Econ/Comm Officer met with individual US firms and
gave group presentations during a three-day
commercial outreach trip to Singapore, Sept. 15-
17,2002. Many US firms based in Singapore have
responsibility for Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The
presentation to about 40 members of the Amcham
Regional Affairs Committee took place on the first
day of the highly-publicized Sri Lankan peace
talks, so interest level was high, and there were
many questions following the PowerPoint
presentation. Representatives from the Association
of US States also showed strong interest in the
current situation and opportunities. Meetings with
US firms, including Caltex, Bell Helicopter, Harris
and Caterpillar focused on these firms' ongoing
projects in Sri Lanka. Discussions with the FCS
office at the Embassy generated some new ideas for
opportunities in commercial promotion and
cooperation. The Singapore FCS Office coordinated
the visit and was instrumental in its success.

4. Post appreciates the strong support it received
through BFIF in 2002, which resulted in a
heightened profile for US firms in these growing
markets. Planning is already underway for FY2003.
Wills

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