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Cablegate: Bfif Fy10 Proposal for Maldives

VZCZCXYZ0002
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLM #0041/01 0210818
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 210818Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1133
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 3709
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI 9857

UNCLAS COLOMBO 000041

SIPDIS

EB/CBA for DENNIS WINSTEAD and TIMOTHY GILMON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: BEXP ECON EFIC ETRD CE MV
SUBJECT: BFIF FY10 PROPOSAL FOR MALDIVES

REF: 09 STATE 126674

1. Post greatly appreciates continued BFIF support for commercial
activities in Sri Lanka and Maldives and proposes BFIF funding for a
U.S. Trade Fair in Maldives for FY10. The points below are keyed to
reftel request for information.

(A) Justification
------------------

2. The U.S. Trade Fair ("American Pavilion") in the Maldives is the
most successful, well-known and established contributor in
developing and expanding U.S. commercial links with the Maldives.
The trade fair has proved a very effective tool in introducing U.S.
products and services to the Maldives and developing mutually
beneficial commercial partnerships between U.S. and Maldivian
companies. The U.S. trade fair is an important component of the U.S
economic and commercial strategy to expand bilateral commercial
links with this pro-western, 100% Islamic country. Since its
commencement in 1999 as a catalog show, the American Pavilion has
become a main feature of the country's premier trade show.

3. The U.S. Pavilion occupies the most visible and premier location
on the floor, providing maximum outreach to U.S. exhibitors. The
diverse U.S. products and technology displayed in attractive stalls
draw a large number of potential trade partners and visitors. The
Ambassador's and Charge's active participation at the 2008 and 2009
events demonstrates the importance of this event in Post's overall
economic strategy in Maldives.

4. The U.S. trade show has achieved several noteworthy results with
respect to sales contracts; establishment of a pilot wind power
project utilizing U.S. technology; considerable increases in U.S.
agriculture exports such as apples, oranges, packaged foods and
eggs; constructive trade leads for a power generation company;
considerable sales and continuing orders for a manufacturer of
canopies and awnings using U.S. fabric; and numerous other sales
opportunities and serious leads for U.S. companies and their
representatives.

5. U.S. exhibitors that have consistently participated in the
pavilion for a number of years have achieved encouraging results.
Prominent U.S. corporations including Cummins, Caterpillar, HP, IBM,
Bell, and Cessna were among the U.S. exhibitors in 2009. The show
generated useful leads for participant companies, especially in the
energy, food and beverage, and tourism sectors. The Maldives
presents opportunities for a range of products and technology, with
sustainable energy, tourism and leisure, information technology,
communications, electronics, and construction products offering good
prospects. Services and consulting in areas such as finance and
economic management (where local expertise is lacking) also provide
opportunities. Education is another key area for U.S. educational
institutes. Resort development is a highly investment-intensive
area and an opportunity for U.S firms to offer construction,
equipment and technology. Although a comparatively small market,
the Maldives is beneficial for companies willing to commit resources
to securing commercial success.

(B) Planning Milestones:
------------------------

6. The show will be held in July 2010 and will be held in the main
conference center in Male'. Promotional strategy, logistics and
related issues will be coordinated with exhibitors, the Maldives
Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Post's General Service Office,
Post's Public Diplomacy Office and the exhibition organizer.

(C) Estimated Costs
-------------------

7. Estimated costs for this program are $20,000. Post will also
solicit funds from other USG agencies to fund components of the
trade show related to those respective agencies.

(D) Post Points of Contact
--------------------------

8. Ken Kero-Mentz, Economic Officer, and Adrian Mendis, Commercial
Specialist. Tel: 94-11-2498500, Fax: 94-11-2437345, Email:
KEROKA@STATE.GOV, MENDISA@STATE.GOV.

(E) Anticipated Outcomes and Follow up:
---------------------------------------

9. Participation in this trade show assists Post to: sustain and
advance growth in U.S. exports to Maldives; expand visibility of
U.S. products and technology and establish the U.S. as a preferred
supplier; establish the U.S. government's seriousness of expanding
commercial ties with the Maldives; form partnerships and sales

contracts between U.S. companies and Maldivian firms; reinforce the
'Made in USA' brand in all sectors, with emphasis on food and
beverage, technology and equipment for infrastructure projects; and
identify large scale projects for U.S companies in areas such as
construction, resorts, energy, food and beverage, defense and other
relevant sectors. Successful project outcome criteria are based on
new leads generated for exhibitors, number of visitors attending
show, and number of contracts and sales concluded with Maldivian
companies and government agencies.

10. Follow up after the trade fair includes contacting exhibitors
and assisting in facilitating discussions and negotiations with
potential clients, pursuing trade leads, and working with government
agencies on large scale projects with potential for U.S. commercial
contribution. We will also identify suppliers for specific requests
received by American Pavilion visitors in coordination with USDA and
FCS. Post's efforts are evident in U.S. Department of Commerce
trade data. In 2008, U.S. exports to Maldives demonstrated a 5%
increase above 2007. This BFIF activity is a proven generator of
additional U.S. exports.

11. Post requests confirmation of funding earliest and if possible
by the end of January 2010 to secure exhibition space for the
American Pavilion. There is heavy demand for the trade show and
Post should quickly confirm participation.

BUTENIS

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