[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 157 (Tuesday, August 14, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48499-48503]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-19823]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration


U.S. Multi-Sector Trade Mission to South India and Sri Lanka 
Chennai and Cochin, India and Colombo, Sri Lanka February 3-8, 2013

AGENCY: International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice.

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Mission Description

    The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade 
Administration (ITA), U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (CS), along 
with the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka, are organizing a Trade Mission to 
South India and Sri Lanka from February 3-9, 2013. The purpose of the 
mission is to introduce U.S. firms to South India's and Sri Lanka's 
rapidly expanding markets for infrastructure, hospitality, healthcare, 
and environmental and information technologies.
    The mission will tour three cities, Chennai, Cochin (Kochi) and 
Colombo, where participants will receive market briefings and 
participate in customized meetings with key officials and potential 
partners. Trade mission participants will also have the option to 
participate in additional stops in Bangalore and Hyderabad (both in 
south India), where CS offices can arrange meetings with private sector 
developers/partners and state/local government officials.
    The mission will help participating firms gain market insights, 
make industry contacts, solidify business strategies, and advance 
specific projects, with the goal of increasing U.S. exports of services 
to India and Sri Lanka. The mission will include one-on-one business 
appointments with pre-screened potential buyers, agents, distributors 
and joint venture partners; meetings with state and local government 
officials and industry leaders; and networking events. Participating in 
a CS-organized trade mission delegation, rather than traveling to India 
and Sri Lanka on their own, will enhance the companies' ability to 
secure meetings in both countries.

[[Page 48500]]

    The mission supports President Obama's National Export Initiative 
(NEI) and its goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015 to strengthen the 
U.S. economy and U.S. competitiveness through meaningful job creation. 
It also supports the International Trade Administration's Growth in 
Emerging Metropolitan Sectors (GEMS) initiative by visiting areas with 
strong potential for exports that are not typically visited. The 
mission will help U.S. companies already doing business to increase 
their footprint in India and Sri Lanka and realize their export goals.

Commercial Setting

    India, one of the world's fastest growing economies, presents 
lucrative opportunities for U.S. companies that offer products and 
services that could help to meet the nation's rapidly expanding 
infrastructure and housing needs. India is seeking to invest $1 
trillion in its infrastructure during its 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-
2017) and is seeking private sector participation to fund half of this 
massive expansion through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. 
The rapid growth of the Indian economy (averaging 8% over the past 10 
years, though down as low as 6.4% recently) has created a pressing need 
for infrastructure development and the country requires significant 
outside expertise to meet its ambitious targets. U.S. industry is well 
qualified to supply the kinds of architectural, design and engineering 
services, and project management skills needed to successfully tackle 
major initiatives, including the proposed 250-km Bangalore-Chennai 
expressway, to be built at a cost of $1 billion. U.S. clean tech/energy 
efficient technologies are also well positioned to be deployed in new 
industrial zones in this chronically energy-deficient country. The 
Indian electricity sector faces many challenges in trying to meet the 
ever increasing demand-supply gap. Energy losses in India's 
transmission and distribution sector exceed 30%, which ranks among the 
highest rates of energy loss in the world. Investment in India's 
electricity infrastructure sector will be driven by the need to upgrade 
out-of-date transmission and distribution systems, reducing electricity 
theft and increasing energy efficiency. The modernization of India's 
electric grid and the eventual deployment of smart grid technologies 
will create opportunities for equipment and service providers from the 
U.S.
    The end of Sri Lanka's (CS Chennai is Sri Lanka's Partners Post) 
long-running civil war in May 2009 has opened a new era of economic 
opportunities and rebounding economic growth. The Government of Sri 
Lanka (GSL) has set very ambitious goals for economic development, 
aspiring to GDP growth rates over 8%, and developing economic hubs in 
ports, aviation, knowledge, hospitality, leisure/tourism and energy. 
Compared to other South Asian countries, Sri Lanka is relatively open 
to foreign investment. It offers a comparatively open financial system, 
moderately good infrastructure, and a capable workforce.
    The private sector-led growth of the economy is expected to 
continue to expand with the ending of the ethnic conflict and opening 
up of the north-eastern regions for investment and trade. The 
government is promoting new destinations in Sri Lanka, and several 
international hotel brands are planning to enter the hotel industry in 
Sri Lanka. The transportation sector is estimated to contribute 12% to 
the country's GDP. While the country's road network is being 
significantly improved, other areas, including railways, need 
considerable expansion. The country's transportation ministry is 
focused on developing the transport sector, previously neglected during 
the protracted ethnic conflict, and is looking for investments to 
develop existing infrastructure. The government has a particular 
interest in railway subdivision, and is looking at railways to play a 
bigger role in the transportation sector in general. Tourism, in 
particular, relies heavily on transportation--almost one-third of a 
tourist's in-country expenditures in Sri Lanka are on transport and 
tour-related services. According to government sources, the transport 
sector will earn more than $1 billion per year from tourism alone if 
tourist arrivals exceed 2 million per year in 2016 as expected. The 
government has set a target of 2.5 million tourist arrivals by 2016 and 
the industry estimates it will need an additional 40,000 rooms in the 
next five years to achieve this target. The current growth and 
increasing demand in the infrastructure, hospitality and transport 
sectors will provide opportunities for U.S. companies to expand and 
grow in these areas.
    As Indian and Sri Lankan developers expand their capabilities and 
construct and connect new industrial facilities, foreign firms often 
play a major role in design, construction, engineering and management 
of their signature projects. The Indian and Sri Lankan infrastructure 
industries are integral parts of their respective economies and 
conduits for a substantial part of development investment. The 
infrastructure sector is poised for additional growth due to the dual 
trends of industrialization and urbanization, and the rising 
expectations of Indian and Sri Lankan citizens for an improved standard 
of living as a result of economic development. As a result, there are 
also tremendous opportunities for U.S. firms in the areas of 
environmental technologies, IT and healthcare products as India and Sri 
Lanka boost their infrastructure and building requirements.
    Target subsectors holding high potential for U.S. exporters 
include: urban development projects, airport/port development, 
hospitals and health care, hospitality, cold storage, multi-family 
residential and townships, educational, telecom, and oil exploration 
related services and supplies.
    To explore these opportunities the trade mission will visit three 
cities as described below:

Chennai, Tamil Nadu

    Chennai (also known as Madras) is the capital city of the Indian 
state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of 
Bengal, it is a major commercial, cultural, and educational center in 
South India; the port of Chennai is the second largest port in India. 
As of the 2011 census, the city had 4.68 million residents, making it 
the sixth most populous city in India; the urban agglomeration, which 
comprises the city and its suburbs, was home to approximately 8.9 
million, making it the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the 
country. According to Forbes magazine, Chennai is one of the fastest 
growing cities in the world. It has a diversified economic base 
anchored by the automobile, software services, hardware manufacturing, 
health care and financial services industries. According to the 
Confederation of Indian Industry, Chennai is estimated to grow to a 
$100 billion economy, 2.5 times its present size, by the year 2025.
    Chennai possesses a broad need for all building types, but 
corporate campuses, education, housing, infrastructure, and master-
planning efforts are the most active development sectors. The Chennai 
realty market has been growing at over 8 per cent a year and there are 
at least 675 real estate projects underway and 43.5 million square feet 
of area is awaiting approval for development with the local government 
in Chennai. The residential real estate market is expected to register 
strong growth in 2012, primarily on account of improvement in the 
information technology (IT) sector, and continued economic growth in 
the region.

[[Page 48501]]

Cochin (Kochi), Kerala

    Cochin (Kochi) is widely referred to as the commercial capital of 
Kerala. The availability of electricity, fresh water, long coastline, 
backwaters, good banking facilities, presence of a major port, 
container trans-shipment terminal, harbor terminal and an international 
air terminal are some of the factors which accelerated the industrial 
growth in the city and its adjoining district. In recent years the city 
has witnessed heavy investment, making it one of the fastest-growing 
second-tier metro cities in India. Major business sectors include 
construction, manufacturing, shipbuilding, transportation/shipping, 
seafood and spices exports, chemical industries, information technology 
(IT), tourism, health services, and banking.
    The Cochin Port currently handles export and import of container 
cargo at its terminal at Willingdon Island. The International Container 
Transshipment Terminal operating out of Vallarpadam, is India's largest 
transshipment terminal. The Cochin Port Trust also planning to build an 
Outer Harbor. Upon completion it will be the largest port in South 
Asia.

Colombo, Sri Lanka

    CS Chennai is the Partner Post for the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka. 
The Partner Post Program is intended to provide the best possible 
service to American companies seeking assistance in countries where the 
CS has no presence. Through the Partner Post program, the State 
Department Economic Section in a non-CS post draws on the specialized 
advice and experience of a sponsoring CS post to better assist U.S. 
business clients enter more markets throughout the world.
    Compared to other South Asian countries, Sri Lanka is relatively 
open to foreign investment. It offers relatively transparent financial 
systems, moderately good infrastructure, and a generally capable 
workforce. U.S.--Sri Lanka bilateral trade was estimated at $2.2 
billion in 2011, U.S. exports to Sri Lanka were $280 million in 2011, 
and U.S investments in Sri Lanka totaled approximately $200 million 
that year.
    The end of Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war in May 2009 has ushered in 
a new era of economic opportunities and strong economic growth. Sri 
Lanka had two straight years of 8% GDP growth in 2010 and 2011. 
President Rajapaksha was elected for a second six-year term in January 
2010, and President Rajapaksha's Sri Lanka Freedom Party holds a two-
third majority in Parliament, giving President Rajapaksha control of 
the legislative branch as well. With the return of peace, sectors such 
as construction, telecommunications, tourism and transportation offer 
enormous opportunities for U.S. companies.

Mission Goals

    The goals of the Three C--Chennai, Cochin, and Colombo--Trade 
Mission to South India and Sri Lanka are to provide U.S. participants 
with first-hand market information, and one-on-one meetings with 
business contacts, including potential end users and partners, so that 
they can position themselves to enter or expand their presence in south 
India and Sri Lanka. As such, the mission will focus on helping U.S. 
companies to obtain market information, to establish business and 
government contacts, to solidify business strategies, and/or to advance 
specific projects.
    The mission will also facilitate first-hand market exposure and 
access to government decision makers and key private-sector industry 
contacts, including potential partners. It will provide opportunities 
for participants to have policy and regulatory framework discussions 
with government officials and private sector representatives in order 
to advance U.S. company's interests in India and Sri Lanka.

Mission Scenario

    The first stop on the mission itinerary is Chennai, where 
participants will start arriving on Sunday, February 3, 2013. The next 
day the participants will participate in industry briefings, one-on-one 
business meetings, and networking lunch meetings with chamber/
associations. After lunch, the one-on-one meetings will continue 
followed by a networking reception. CS Chennai will seize opportunities 
to tap into the wealth of industry contacts and offer matchmaking, and 
networking opportunities for the mission members.
    On Tuesday morning the delegates will start with a site visit, and 
depart for Cochin. On Wednesday morning the delegates' program will 
start with a briefing meeting, followed by one-on-one meetings. 
Simultaneously, there will be an option to participate in a meeting 
with the Government of Kerala. At noon, there will be a networking 
luncheon with local businesses and multipliers. After lunch, the one-
on-one meetings will continue. On Thursday morning the delegation will 
depart for Colombo, Sri Lanka.
    Finally, the delegation will visit Colombo, the capital city of Sri 
Lanka. There the delegation will participate in a reception hosted by 
the U.S. Ambassador and attend various briefings by Embassy officials 
and roundtables/workshops with potential Sri Lankan partners, followed 
by a networking lunch, one-on-one meetings and a debrief meeting. Sri 
Lanka is envisioned as the gateway to the Indian market and is situated 
on a geographically ideal route for trade with much of the Middle East 
and Asia. The Government of Sri Lanka (GSL) has set very ambitious 
goals for economic development, and developing economic hubs in ports, 
aviation, knowledge, hospitality, leisure/tourism and energy. The trade 
mission participants will have the opportunity to participate in 
briefings, a networking reception, and one-on-one meetings. Through the 
Partner Post program, State Department colleagues in Sri Lanka have 
organized CS programs and services before, as well as two AmCham India 
trade missions. Embassy Colombo is very supportive of this proposed 
mission.
    Trade mission delegates will also have the option of visiting 
Bangalore, and Hyderabad for individual one-on-one meetings before the 
official start of the mission in Chennai and Colombo.

                           Proposed Timetable
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------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Chennai
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sunday, February 3................  Arrive in Chennai
                                    Overnight stay at Chennai
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Monday, February 4................  Breakfast briefing by U.S. Consulate
                                     Chennai officials
                                    One-on-one business meetings
                                    Networking lunch hosted by a Chamber
                                    One-on-one business meetings
                                     continue

[[Page 48502]]

 
                                    Networking reception hosted by U.S.
                                     Consul General
                                    Overnight stay in Chennai
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                         Chennai/Cochin, Kerala
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Tuesday, February 5...............  Site visits based on the cluster of
                                     industry segments
                                    Afternoon travel to Cochin, Kerala
                                    Overnight stay in Cochin, Kerala
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                             Cochin, Kerala
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Wednesday, February 6.............  Introductions from the American
                                     Business Corner on ``Emerging
                                     Opportunities in Kerala--an
                                     upcoming State''
                                    Meeting/Presentations by Government
                                     of Kerala officials
                                    One-on-one business meetings
                                    Networking lunch with local industry
                                     representatives
                                    Overnight stay in Cochin
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                        Cochin/Colombo, Sri Lanka
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Thursday, February 7..............  Mid Morning travel to Colombo
                                    Evening networking reception hosted
                                     by U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka
                                    Overnight stay in Colombo
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                           Colombo, Sri Lanka
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Friday, February 8................  Breakfast briefing by U.S. Embassy
                                     officials in Sri Lanka
                                    Roundtable Meetings/Workshop
                                    Networking lunch hosted by the
                                     Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and
                                     Industry (TBC)
                                    One-on-one business meetings
                                    Debriefing/Wrap-up discussion
                                     followed by dinner
                                    Mission ends
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Participation Requirements

    All parties interested in participating in the trade mission must 
complete and submit an application package for consideration by the 
U.S. Department of Commerce. All applicants will be evaluated on their 
ability to meet certain conditions and best satisfy the selection 
criteria as outlined below. A minimum of 12 and maximum of 15 companies 
will be selected from the applicant pool to participate in the mission.

Fees and Expenses

    After a company has been selected to participate on the mission, a 
payment to the U.S. Department of Commerce in the form of a 
participation fee is required. The participation fee is $4481 for large 
firms and $4303 for small or medium-sized enterprises (SME).\1\ The fee 
for each additional representative is $750. The fee for optional stops 
in Hyderabad or Bangalore (both in south India) is $700 per day per 
city.
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    \1\ An SME is defined as a firm with 500 or fewer employees or 
that otherwise qualifies as a small business under SBA regulations 
(see http://www.sba.gov/services/contracting opportunities/
sizestandardstopics/index.html). Parent companies, affiliates, and 
subsidiaries will be considered when determining business size. The 
dual pricing reflects the Commercial Service's user fee schedule 
that became effective May 1, 2008 (see http://www.export.gov/newsletter/march2008/initiatives.html for additional information).
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Exclusions

    The mission fee does not include any personal travel expenses such 
as lodging, most meals, local ground transportation, except as stated 
in the proposed timetable, and air transportation from the U.S. to the 
mission sites and return to the U.S. Delegate members will, however, be 
able to take advantage of U.S. Government rates for hotel rooms. 
Business visas may be required. Government fees and processing expenses 
to obtain such visas are also not included in the mission costs. 
However, the U.S. Department of Commerce will provide instructions to 
each participant on the procedures required to obtain necessary 
business visas.

Conditions for Participation

    Applicants must submit a completed and signed mission application 
and supplemental application materials, including adequate information 
on the company's products and/or services, primary market objectives, 
and goals for participation. If the Department of Commerce receives an 
incomplete application, the Department may either: reject the 
application, request additional information/clarification, or take the 
lack of information into account when evaluating the applications.
    Each applicant must also certify that the products and services it 
seeks to export through the mission are either produced in the United 
States, or, if not, are marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have 
at least fifty-one percent U.S. content. In cases where the U.S. 
content does not exceed fifty percent, especially where the applicant 
intends to pursue investment and major project opportunities, the 
following factors, may be considered in determining whether the 
applicant's participation in the trade mission is in the U.S. national 
interest:
     U.S. materials and equipment content;
     U.S. labor content; repatriation of profits to the U.S. 
economy;
     Potential for follow-on business that would benefit the 
U.S. economy;
In addition, each applicant must:
     Certify that the products and services that it wishes to 
market through the mission would be in compliance with U.S. export 
controls and regulations;
     Certify that it has identified to the Department of 
Commerce for its evaluation any business pending before

[[Page 48503]]

the Department that may present the appearance of a conflict of 
interest;
     Certify that it has identified any pending litigation 
(including any administrative proceedings) to which it is a party that 
involves the Department of Commerce; and
     Sign and submit an agreement that it and its affiliates 
(1) have not and will not engage in the bribery of foreign officials in 
connection with a company's/participant's involvement in this mission, 
and (2) maintain and enforce a policy that prohibits the bribery of 
foreign officials.

Selection Criteria for Participation

    Targeted mission participants are U.S. companies providing 
architectural and/or engineering services, environmental or IT 
technologies, hospitality/tourism services and healthcare products that 
have an interest in entering or expanding their business in the Indian 
and Sri Lankan markets. The following criteria will be evaluated in 
selecting participants:
     Suitability of a company's products or services to the 
Indian and Sri Lankan markets.
     Applicant's potential for business in India and Sri Lanka, 
including likelihood of exports resulting from the mission.
     Consistency of the applicant's goals and objectives with 
the stated scope of the mission.
    Additional factors, such as diversity of company size, type, 
location, and demographics, may also be considered during the review 
process.
    Referrals from political organizations and any documents, including 
the application, containing references to partisan political activities 
(including political contributions) will be removed from an applicant's 
submission and not considered during the selection process.

Timeframe for Recruitment and Application

    Mission recruitment will be conducted in an open and public manner, 
including publication in the Federal Register, posting on the Commerce 
Department trade mission calendar (http://www.export.gov/trademissions/
) and other Internet web sites, press releases to general and trade 
media, direct mail, broadcast fax, notices by industry trade 
associations and other multiplier groups, and publicity at industry 
meetings, symposia, conferences, and trade shows.
    Recruitment for this mission will begin immediately and conclude no 
later than November 30, 2012. The U.S. Department of Commerce will 
review applications and make selection decisions beginning December 
2012. Applications received after November 30, 2012 will be considered 
only if space and scheduling constraints permit.

How to Apply

    Applications can be completed on-line at the Trade Mission Web site 
or can be obtained by contacting Aileen Nandi at the U.S. Department of 
Commerce (see contact details below.) Completed applications should be 
submitted to Aileen Nandi.

Contacts

    San Jose (Silicon Valley) Export Assistance Center, Aileen Crowe 
Nandi, Commercial Officer, 55 S. Market Street, Suite 1040, San Jose, 
CA 95113, Tel: (408) 535-2757, ex. 102, Email: aileen.nandi@trade.gov.
    U.S. Commercial Service India, James P. Golsen, Principal 
Commercial Officer for South India, U.S. Commercial Service, Chennai, 
India, Tel: +91-44-2857-4209, Email: james.golsen@trade.gov.

Elnora Moye,
Trade Program Assistant.
[FR Doc. 2012-19823 Filed 8-13-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-FP-P