American Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (AMCHAM Sri Lanka)

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Background

American Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (AMCHAM Sri Lanka) describes itself as “a non-profit association”. It is located at Aitken Spence Tower 1, Colombo 02. According to the AMCHAM website it represents “leading Sri Lankan and American companies based in Sri Lanka engaged in trade, business and investment activities between Sri Lanka and the United States of America”.[1]

Being the Sri Lankan counterpart of the United States Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), AMCHAM Sri Lanka states their Mission is;[1]

“To stimulate and strengthen economic and business relations between Sri Lanka and the United States”

Links with the Tobacco Industry

The Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) is represented in the AMCHAM Sri Lanka board of Directors.[1] The CTC employees who represented the Board are listed below with the respective years;

  • Michael Koest - Member of the Board (2016/2017)[2]
  • Felicio Ferraz – Vice President (2014/2015)[3]

In the European Union (EU) Transparency Register British American Tobacco (BAT) lists AMCHAM EU, the lobby group of AMCHAM for EU, as an affiliated institution.[4]

An extensive list of tobacco industry links with the different AMCHAM chapters are found in the TobaccoFreeKids.org website.[5]

Ceylon Tobacco Chairman as the President

Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) Chairman and the Managing Director Michael Koest was elected as the President of AMCHAM in September 2018.[6]

Tobacco Related Activities

Image 1: Panel of discussion on pictorial health warnings hosted by AMCHAM Sri Lanka[7]
In May 2015, around the introduction of the pictorial health warnings of cigarette packs in Sri Lanka, AMCHAM Sri Lanka hosted a panel discussion titled “Counterfeit and Piracy The far reaching consequences on our lives & the economy!". The panel (Image 1) consisted of;
  • Ranjan Seneviratne - CTC’s Head of Legal,
  • Kumudini Gunasekare - Project Scientist at the Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI),
  • Kusal Senanayake - Glaxo Welcome’s Head of Sales,
  • Geethanjali Ranawaka - Director General of the Sri Lankan National Intellectual Property office (NIPO)
  • Sudath Perera - member of International Trademark Association (INTA).

The discussion, held at Hilton Colombo Residencies, was moderated by Amice van der Burg-Dissanayake, a lawyer with John Wilson Partners Attorneys at Law and also a member of INTA.[7]

Image 2: Felicio Ferraz delivering the concluding speech on pictorial health warnings panel discussion hosted by AMCHAM Sri Lanka[7]
It was reported that Mr. Felicio Ferraz (Image 2), the Vice President of AmCham and the CEO of CTC “concluded that having heard the experiences and feedback from the panellists, the time has come to assess and plan how Sri Lankan companies strategically leverage their valuable IP (Intellectual Property)”[7]

AMCHAM has lobbied against tobacco control policies globally. Several examples are listed below;

  • The American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union strongly opposed plain packaging from 2010, claiming it is against Intellectual Property Rights.[8]
  • Gintautas Dirgela, one of the Board Members of AMCHAM in Lithuania and the Corporate Affairs Director of Philip Morris Baltic was involved in undermining the EU Tobacco Products Directive Revision.[8][9]

Management

AMCHAM Sri Lanka is managed by a Board of Directors rotating annually. The companies which the board represented in 2016/2017 are mentioned in AMCHAM Sri Lanka Board of Directors.

Members & Affiliations

Members

A complete directory of members are available at AMCHAM Sri Lanka Website

Affiliated Institutions/Organisations

A complete list of affiliations is mentioned in the AMCHAM website. The institutions in Sri Lanka are listed below;[1]

  • The Embassy of The United States of America in Sri Lanka and The Maldives (Colombo)
  • The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce
  • Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL)
  • Sri Lanka Association of Software Service Companies (SLASSCOM)
  • The National Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka
  • Sri Lanka Foundation (SLF)
  • Chamber of Commerce And Industries of Yalpanam
  • USA – Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce

Sponsorships

“AmCham Gives Back” is the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of the AMCHAM Sri Lanka. Its purpose is identified as “to provide equal opportunities for the children”.[10] The Sponsorships mentioned in the Past Events of the AMCHAM Sri Lanka are listed below with the year of receiving the sponsorship

  • Glenanore Tamil School Haputale (2016) - Part proceeds from the AMCHAM-FedEx Golf Tournament of 2016 was donated via “AmCham gives back” to “uplift the IT and sanitation infra-structure” of the school.[10]
  • Kumara Vidyala Kotahena (2015) - 14 computers provided by the Brandix Lanka Ltd was donated to the school[11]
  • Real Men Don’t Abuse (2014) - Part proceeds of the 2014 AMCHAM Ball was donated to this initiative identified as “an initiative to create awareness against gender based violence”[12]
  • Children of the Caddie and Minor staff of the Royal Colombo Golf Club (2013) - the children were presented with school materials[13]

Other

AMCHAM Sri Lanka declares that they “maintain close relationships with decision-makers from the US and Sri Lankan Governments, trade bodies, national and regional Chambers of Commerce”.[1] The politicians and government officials mentioned to have featured in their Past Events (with the year and the post held at the time of the event) were;

  • Harsha De Silva (2016, 2015 - Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs)[14][15][16] (2015 - Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development)[17][18]
  • Prema Cooray (2016 - Chairman - Sri Lanka Convention Bureau)[19]
  • Sagala Rathnayake (2015 - Minister of Southern Development)[20]
  • Ravi Karunanayke (2015 - Minister of Finance)[20][17][18]
  • Ranil Wickramasinghe (2015 - Prime Minister)[17]
  • Arjuna Ranatunga (2015 - Minister of Ports, Shipping & Aviation)[17]
  • Rauff Hakeem (2015 - Minister of Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage)[17]
  • Ruwan Wijewardene (2015 - State Minister of Defence)[17][18]
  • Mahinda Samarasinghe (2015 - State Minister of Finance)[17]
  • Rosy Senanayake (2015 - State Minister of Children’s Affairs)[17]
  • Patali Champika Ranawaka (2015 - Minister of Power & Energy)[18]
  • Rajitha Senaratne (2015 - Minister of Health & Indigenous Medicine)[18]
  • Rajiva Wijesinha (2015 - Minister of Higher Education)[18]
  • Razeen Sally (2015 - Chairman of the Institute of Policy Studies in Sri Lanka, advisor to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and to Minister of International Trade Malik Samarawickrama on trade issues).[21]

TobaccoUnmasked Resources

Other relevant TobaccoUnmasked entries:

External Link Relevant to the Page

American Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 American Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka. Home Page, 2017, accessed March 2017
  2. AMCHAM Sri Lanka. Board of Directors, 2017, accessed March 2017
  3. AMCHAM Sri Lanka. AmCham Appoints President & New Board of Directors for 2014/2015 (2014-10-20 ), Undated, accessed March 2017
  4. Transparency Register. British American Tobacco, 03 January 2017, accessed March 2017
  5. TobaccoFreeKids.org. Tobacco Company Members by AMCHAM Chapter, 2015, accessed March 2017
  6. S. Sirimane. USAID invests US$ 19 mn for youth empowerment, Daily News, 06 September 2018, accessed September 2018
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 AMCHAM Sri Lanka. Counterfeit and Piracy The far reaching consequences on our lives & the economy, 2017, accessed March 2017
  8. 8.0 8.1 TobaccoTactics.org. The American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union, 10 December 2013, accessed March 2017
  9. TobaccoTactics.org. EU Tobacco Products Directive Revision, 28 February 2017, accessed March 2017
  10. 10.0 10.1 AMCHAM Sri Lanka. 17th AmCham-FedEx Golf Tournament, 2016-08-27, Undated, accessed March, 2017
  11. AMCHAM Sri Lanka. The 23rd Annual General Meeting, Undated, accessed March, 2017
  12. AMCHAM Sri Lanka. Felicitating Our Sponsors of the 16th AmCham Ball 2014 – AmCham Networking Event, 2014-09-10, Undated, accessed March, 2017
  13. AMCHAM Sri Lanka. The 14th Annual AmCham RCGC Golf Tournament Charity Donation, 2013-12-09, Undated, accessed March, 2017
  14. AMCHAM Sri Lanka. Breakfast meeting with Mr. Michael Delaney, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative (A/USTR) and Mr. Arun Kumar, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce, 2016-09-02, Undated, accessed March 2017
  15. AMCHAM Sri Lanka. US Trade Show 2015, 2015-11-17, Undated, accessed March 2017
  16. AMCHAM Sri Lanka. Interactive Luncheon Meeting with Mr. Richard Armitage and Ms. Kara Bue, 2015-09-08, Undated, accessed March 2017
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 AMCHAM Sri Lanka. "The Prime Minister Speaks", 2015-04-08, Undated, accessed March 2017
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 AMCHAM Sri Lanka. “Sri Lanka - the way Forward! – What’s in Store for the Business Community?”, 2015-02-24, Undated, accessed March 2017
  19. AMCHAM Sri Lanka. AmCham - SLCB Road Show in India to Promote MICE (Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conferences and Events), 2016-04-08, Undated, accessed March 2017
  20. 20.0 20.1 AMCHAM Sri Lanka. Interactive Luncheon Meeting with Mr. Richard Armitage and Ms. Kara Bue, 2015-09-08, Undated, accessed March 2017
  21. AMCHAM Sri Lanka. The Importance of TPP to Sri Lanka, 2015-12-17, Undated, accessed March 2017