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Cablegate: Maldives: Successful American Pavilion at Major Hotel And

VZCZCXYZ0017
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLM #0746/01 2201200
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071200Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8511
INFO RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 2206
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI 8634
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS COLOMBO 000746

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/INS AND EEB/CBA FOR DWINSTEAD AND TGILMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: BEXP BTIO ENIV ABUD ECON MV
SUBJECT: MALDIVES: SUCCESSFUL AMERICAN PAVILION AT MAJOR HOTEL AND
TRADE SHOW, JULY 15-17, 2008

REF: (A) STATE 72180
(B) STATE 73258

1. This is an action request for EEB/CBA. Please see para six.

2. Summary: Post is pleased to report the successful conclusion of
the embassy-organized American Pavilion at an international trade
fair in Maldives July 15-17, 2008. The American Pavilion once again
helped to increase U.S. exports to Maldives. Ten U.S. companies, or
their local partners, exhibited as part of the Pavilion. Many
companies reported significant leads and new contracts. Noteworthy
results from this year's show included increased sales for a company
representing U.S. specialty-textile producer group Sunbrella,
promising leads for 3M in different sectors, planned expansion of a
pilot wind power project using U.S. equipment to a commercial scale,
and the plan by a U.S. food and beverage exporter to increase sales
to $2 million in 2008. End Summary.

Early Results: Increasing U.S. Exports
-----------------------------------------

3. The American Pavilion continued to be the major attraction for
the third consecutive year at the Maldives Hotel and Trade Expo,
drawing considerable interest from both government and
private-sector representatives. The Ambassador played a pivotal
role in drawing top level public and private representatives to the
American Pavilion, personally introducing them to exhibitors. He
also arranged several meetings with Maldivian officials at the site,
helping to boost the profile of the Pavilion and its products.

Substantial outcomes:
----------------------

4. Following are some positive results to date for companies that
participated in the American Pavilion:

A. A company using U.S. Sunbrella fabric to manufacture canopies
and awnings received considerable trade leads. It secured a new
contract with one of Maldives most exclusive resorts.

B. A U.S. food and beverage exporter expanded his product range as
a result the trade show. The company will now target $2 million in
sales to Maldives in 2008. (Note: The company's new local
distributor was introduced to the company at a previous BFIF-funded
event; he visited the U.S. earlier in 2008 on a trade visit.)

C. 3M reported many serious inquiries in several sectors, including
telecom, electrical, construction, marine and outdoor advertising.

D. Cummins reported a successful show with new leads in the resort
sector.

Emerging Prospects:
--------------------

5. Some companies reported a satisfactory trade show and will
actively follow up leads in order to conclude contracts and sales:


A. Cessna attracted keen interest from government and private
officials. This is a sector for close follow-up as the Maldives has
one of the largest sea plane fleets in the world.

B. A Middle East-based sports company representing U.S. sports
equipment and technology, participating for the second consecutive
year, generated useful leads and interest after a moderate start in
2007.

D. A U.S. golf cart dealer based in New Delhi participated in the
American Pavilion for the first time. The company reported a small
number of substantive leads that have real potential to convert to
sales contracts.

E. A company promoting wind power projects that use U.S. technology
is implementing a successful pilot project in Maldives. Through
their exhibition at the American Pavilion and through additional
efforts, there is a strong possibility of applying the technology
commercially on to up to 100 islands in Maldives. President Gayoom,
in recent meetings with the Ambassador, extended his strong support
for such renewable energy programs in the wake of rising fuel costs.
(Note: Ambassador and Gayoom attended the formal launch of the
already-running pilot project earlier this year.)

6. Expenditure Report and Action Request
-----------------------------------------

Post has exceeded budget by $192 due to increased costs. Post kindly
requests EEB/CBA to consider funding this additional amount.


Booth space and stall hire: $7,000
U.S. pavilion construction: $3,000
Decorations: $800
Promotional T-shirts: $600
Shipment and clearing charges: $1,992
Printing of banners: $350
Hire of additional display units: $200
Table and chairs: $10
Snack food for display/sampling: $150
Total: $14,092.00

BFIF advances U.S. Commercial ties with Maldives
--------------------------------------------- ------

7. Comment: Business Facilitation Incentive Funds (BFIF) have
proven key in expanding U.S. exports to Maldives. Several companies
now doing business -- worth millions of dollars -- in Maldives were
introduced to the market by BFIF-supported events. The support
received by BFIF in the early years of the trade show, when results
were moderate, is mainly responsible for the current success of the
American Pavilion. BFIF's belief that results would follow with
time has been well rewarded. The continued support of the American
Pavilion by BFIF is important to keep advancing U.S. exports in this
market. Post strongly recommends continuation of funding for the
American Pavilion at the Maldives Hotel and Trade Expo in 2009.
BLAKE

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