Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) to host business meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina

Mission to Cover Major Textile Centers; Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro & Winston-Salem

A Business Promotion Mission to North Carolina will be undertaken by the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) comprising representatives of leading Sri Lankan apparel exporters from 13th to 15th September, 2004, to promote business with US textile manufacturers. Mr. Mahesh Amalean, Chairman MAS Holdings Ltd. and Chairman, JAFF Sub-Committee on Human Resource Development/Technology Advanced Initiatives will lead the Business Promotion Mission. In Charlotte, North Carolina, they will be joined by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Devinda R. Subasinghe and Mr. Saman Udagedara, Minister (Commercial), Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C.

The Mission was initiated by the Embassy of Sri Lanka and the Office of the USTR as a part of ongoing efforts to strengthen bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries. The purpose of the Apparel Mission is to explore the possibility of expanding import of US manufactured fabrics, yarn, cotton, accessories etc., by Sri Lankan apparel manufactures, identify US fabric manufacturers, who may be interested in investing in fabric manufacturing facilities in the country to take advantage of the US one billion fabric import market in Sri Lanka, as well as, export market opportunities present elsewhere in the region.

In 2003, the Sri Lanka apparel industry imported woven and knitted fabric, fiber, yarn and thread worth of US$ 1.3 billion from various sources. The US ranked as the sixth largest supplier of fabric to Sri Lanka after Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, China and India. However, imports from the US valued at US$ 47.0 million accounted for only 5% of the total fabric requirement in Sri Lanka. Hence sourcing of fabrics from the US could help in improving two way trade between the two countries.

Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), a strong supporter of free trade, will host the delegation in Charlotte and will introduce them to leading US fabric manufacturers in Gaston County at a kick off meeting organized by the Gaston County Economic Development Commission. The event has been organized with the support of Rep. Sue Myrick and Chief Textile Negotiator David Spooner of the Office of the USTR. The meeting will be held at the North Carolina Centre for Applied Textile Technology (NCCATT). NCCATT is the leading school in North Carolina dedicated to teaching textile technology. President of the NCCATT Dr. James Lemons and Mr. Steven Dobbins, Chairman of the National Council of Textile Organizations and Mr. Gregg Sizemore of US Department of Commerce will also participate at this meeting.

Major textile companies in Gaston County including Wellman Industries, Carolina Mills, Contrad Phyne, Pharr Yarns and Radicispandex will be displaying their products at the NCCATT and representatives of these companies will be meeting the visiting Mission to discuss possible business opportunities and to forge business partnerships. The Business Promotion Mission will also visit Parkdale Mills Inc., R.L. Stove Mills and American & Efird Mills in Gaston County.

The Business Promotion Mission will travel to Raleigh, Greensboro and Winston-Sale, the major textile centers in North Carolina, to meet with US fabric manufacturers. The meeting in Raleigh will be held at the North Carolina State University College of Textiles. In Greensboro the delegation will meet leading US fabric manufacturers such as Burlington Industry, Conemills, Elastic Fabric Manufacturers etc. The Business Promotion Mission will also visit Sara-Lee Branded Apparel, which has established a state-of-the-art Design Centre in Sri Lanka and is also scheduled to meet with fabric manufacturers and representatives of Textile Associations in the area.

Other members of the JAAF mission include; Mr. Janak Hirdaramani, Director, Hirdaramani Group, Mr. Feroz Omar, Managing Director, Kuruwita Industries Ltd., Mr. Channa Palansuriya, Managing Director, Orit Apparels Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd. and Mr. Anupam Agrawal, General Manager, Ishin Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

09 September 2004


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