US says its unparalleled export relationship with SL is testimony to its vision of shared prosperity

Minister of Trade, Bandula Gunawardane and U.S. Ambassador, Alaina Teplitz.

A new initiative launched to help Sri Lanka’s SMEs expand into global markets

 “The United States and Sri Lanka share a vision of prosperity as evidenced by our unparalleled export relationship,” U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, Alaina Teplitz said in Colombo recently.

The U.S. Ambassador made this comment at an event where a Partnership for Accelerated Results in Trade, National Expenditure and Revenue (PARTNER) activity was formed among the EDB, CCC and USAID.

This PARTNER programme is designed to build the capacity of development officers of the EDB, on regional export facilitation.

“For Sri Lanka’s exports to continue to drive growth, its small and medium enterprises need to become ‘export-ready’ competitors. This programme will help Sri Lanka’s SMEs expand into global markets,” she said.

This initiative will train EDB officers to guide small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to become global exporters.

The event was held under the patronage of Minister of Trade, Bandula Gunawardane, with U.S. Ambassador Teplitz as the guest of honor. Other participants included Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman – Suresh de Mel, USAID Sri Lanka and Maldives Mission Director – Reed Aeschliman and The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman – Vish Govindasamy.

Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena extended his gratitude to USAID supported PARTNER project and The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) for joining EDB to implement this training programme.

“I am confident that this development officer training programme will make a significant contribution to strengthen the capacity of small and medium enterprises to enable them to connect to the export value chain and thereby enter the international market”, the Minister said.

The program will improve the knowledge and skills of up to 300 EDB development officers in trade procedures, export processes, and market access. The officers will help small and medium enterprises, including women-led businesses, develop and achieve export goals and connect with export opportunities.

Through this programme, local businesses will increase their understanding of trade regulations in Sri Lanka and abroad, and work towards the competitive players in international markets.

Signatories of the tripartite letter of cooperation to solidify the training programme were EDB Chairman – Suresh de Mel, The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce CEO and Secretary-General – Manjula de Silva, and USAID PARTNER project Chief of Party – Malith Gunasekara.

The training curriculum will be implemented by The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on behalf of EDB and the USAID PARTNER Activity. Sessions will be delivered in Sinhalese and Tamil for development officers from all 25 districts.