In an effort to cultivate bilateral trade and investment relations between Sri Lanka and the United States, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in the United States, in conjunction with the prestigious Wharton Club of Washington, DC, hosted a lively evening reception on June 23, 2023. The purpose of the event, conducted at the Embassy in Washington, DC, was to highlight the vast array of trade and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.
Entrepreneurs, senior professionals, and members of the Wharton Club of DC were among the distinguished guests who enthusiastically attended the reception. Ambassador Mahinda Samarasinghe delivered an enthralling address in which he highlighted Sri Lanka’s rich history as the first nation in the South Asian region to implement market economic policies, which liberalized the economy in 1977. Ambassador Samarasinghe emphasized that Sri Lanka’s economy has rebounded on all fronts, despite confronting economic challenges caused by foreign exchange shortages over the past year. He encouraged attendees to investigate the country’s numerous trade and investment opportunities.
Mr. Alan Schlaifer, Chairman of the DC Innovation Summit and President of the Wharton Club of DC, expressed his appreciation to Ambassador Samarasinghe and the embassy staff for organizing such a significant reception, which provided a vital platform for club members to engage with the embassy in promoting mutual interests.
Minister (Commercial) Charitha Yattogoda delivered a comprehensive presentation in order to enlighten the audience about export opportunities for Sri Lankan products on the US market. Focusing on key sectors such as manufacturing, ICT and IT-enabled services, logistics, tourism and leisure, renewable energy, and the Port City of Colombo, he cast light on the investment opportunities available in Sri Lanka from a United States perspective. Participants were exhorted to consider Sri Lanka as their next trade and investment destination.
The event also featured promotional materials distributed by the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and Port City Colombo (Privately Owned) Ltd. These materials highlighted the primary investment areas emphasized in the presentation.
In a concerted effort to promote tourism in Sri Lanka, the embassy displayed breath-taking photographs and screened videos highlighting the country’s diverse attractions. VoyagX, a tour operating company based in Washington, DC, provided attendees with the opportunity to select tour packages that matched their preferences.
In Washington, DC, the Serendib Dance Troupe mesmerized the audience with a performance that highlighted the cultural diversity of Sri Lanka. The troupe performed traditional up-country and low-country dance forms, revealing the nation’s rich dance heritage. The audience was further captivated by the rhythmic beats of Ceylon Bera and the accompanying instrumental music. In addition, a Bharatanatyam dance performance by the Natraj School exemplified the vibrant diversity of Sri Lankan culture, particularly as it relates to the Tamil community.
The event delighted guests with a lavish buffet of authentic Sri Lankan cuisine flavoured with Ceylon seasonings. A Sri Lankan chef prepared the buffet, which featured live stations serving traditional dishes such as “Hoppers” and “Kottu Roti.”
The event concluded with a raffle offering complimentary accommodation packages for stays at reputable hotels throughout Sri Lanka. The fortunate recipients received prizes from renowned businesses such as Siddhalepha Ayurveda.