Cablegate: Colombo Fy2003 Bfif Closeout

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: 03 STATE 346405

1. Post greatly appreciates the support it receives from
the BFIF program and staff. It allows the Commercial
Section to promote US exports in a region where there is
stiff competition from Asian neighbors, and a lack of
knowledge about tapping the US market. Both Sri Lanka
and the Maldives are heavily reliant on imports, and
offer significant opportunities for US firms. BFIF
funds are critical to keeping US suppliers in the minds
of importers in both countries. Increased US Exports
was a MPP Goal in 2003, and all three projects directly
supported that goal.

2. Post is pleased to inform BFIF of the completion of
all activities approved under FY2003 funding.

3. Following is the expenditure summary for BFIF
projects, 2003:

Project 1:
American Fair 2003: Maldives Trade and Catalog Show
--------------------------------------------- ------
Conference hall charges (3 days) $856.00
Promotional expenses $1,901
Photo Paper for Printing Posters $438.00
Products acquisition charges $54.00
Shipment & handling charges (Colombo/Male')$400.00
charges(Male'/Colombo) $727.00
Courier Charges $737.00
Booth contractor charges $3,765.00
Computer and printer rental $155.00
Chamber of Commerce Administrative Costs: $200.00
Embassy officials' travel & per diem: $1,582.00
Subtotal: $10,815

Project 2:
Printing of Commercial Brochures
1,500 brochures describing Commercial services
Design and Printing: $300.00

Project 3:
Production of Business Card CDs
600 Business Card CDs describing Commercial services
Design, software and production: $3,200.00

4. Following are the programmatic reports for BFIF
projects, 2003:

Project 1: American Fair 2003
The fifth annual US trade and catalog event in the
Maldives from September 17-19, 2003, was the most
successful to date. Over 350 people (approximately 3%
of the nation's labor force) visited the exhibition.

For the second time, Post expanded its presentation of
the Asian Multi-Sector Catalog Show to include company
representation. Five US companies (Energizer,
RedHat/Linux, Commercial Lynks, UniSolar and Southwest
Windpower) and the New Delhi FAS Office participated by
taking booths, sending representatives and displaying
products. The recently completed AID-funded wind and
solar resources map in the Maldives was also displayed
supporting the two alternative energy companies that

The ability to sponsor the Multi-product Catalog Show
has allowed the US to be the only nation that holds an
annual trade event in the Maldives. This year, over 80
US companies in many industry sectors sent product
catalogs/brochures for display. Some US companies
continue their participation at this event over
successive years. The catalog show generated much
interest as visitors sat for long periods and studied
the literature.

The show attracted significant interest of the Maldivian
private sector. Senior or middle level managers, and
some owners of companies involved in trading, as well as
resort management, visited. As expected, the companies
promoting wind power and solar technology attracted the
most interest, due to the focus on alternative power
generation demands in the Maldives. The promotional
strategy for the fair included direct mailers, TV
advertising, flyers inserted in major newspapers and
posters. The inauguration ceremony was recorded and
broadcast on national television in the Maldives.

Project 2:
Printing of Commercial Brochures
The peace process has allowed strong economic recovery
in Sri Lanka, offering new opportunities for US firms.
The Commercial Section had no literature describing the
services available to local and US businesses. Though
there's been a noticeable increase in interest and
visits by US firms, frequently, they are unaware of
assistance the Section can offer. Also, there is a lack
of awareness locally about how to do business with the
The brochure will be a useful tool to address this
information gap and to promote use of the Library and
Commercial Services. The brochure will be mailed to the
Chambers of Commerce, leading private conglomerates and
firms, development banks and other relevant lending
institutions. The brochure will also be sent to top
hotels in Colombo to be displayed in business centers,
and to neighboring FCS offices.

Project 3:
Production of Business Card CDs
The CD offers comprehensive economic and commercial data
about Sri Lanka and the Maldives with relevant web links
to important sites. The CD will be available to US
businesses and potential investors exploring
opportunities with Sri Lankan and Maldivian companies.
This CD contains much of the data necessary for US
businesses to make informed decisions on entering the
Sri Lankan and Maldivian markets. It also will help Sri
Lankan companies find US suppliers, trade and shipping
regulations, phytosanitory requirements and other
relevant information.

5. Post looks forward to continued participation in the
valuable BFIF program.

© Scoop Media

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