Expo 2020 Dubai: Sri Lanka plans to attract FDI

Sunday Observer

25/08/2019

Expo 2020 Dubai: Sri Lanka plans to attract FDI

The government has allocated Rs. 580 million to promote Sri Lanka’s exports, tourism and investment opportunities at Expo 2020 Dubai, which is expected to draw over 25 million visitors.

The Sri Lanka pavilion at the six month-long Expo in an area of 212 sqm, will be under the sub theme ‘Opportunity’ and the pavilion will be branded under the title ‘Island of Ingenuity’. Sri Lanka’s participation at the event is being spearheaded by the Export Development Board (EDB) with public and private sector stakeholders ensuring the effective implementation of the project.

“The Government has allocated Rs. 580 million with Cabinet and Treasury approval to fund the display facility at the expo.

This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our country as a whole and to elevate Sri Lanka’s image in the global arena. It will be an opportunity to exhibit the opportunities in tourism, trade and investments in Sri Lanka,” Development Strategies and International Trade Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara said.

He made these remarks at a briefing for would be exhibitors at the Expo, at the EDB last week.

Expo 2020 Dubai will be held for 173 days, from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021 and spread across a land area of 438 hectares midway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Held once in five years and lasting over six months, the World Expo aims at providing a global forum for innovation and creativity, and exposure for industry and commerce, business opportunities and alliances, in a backdrop of global cooperation.

Expo 2020 would be an opportunity for Sri Lanka’s exporters to showcase the quality and the evolving export basket of the country, Secretary General/Chief Executive Officer, National Chamber of Exporters, Shiham Marikar said.

“We should show the world we are beyond tea, rubber and coconut. We have now various kinds of exports and our exporters meet the highest global ethical standards,” he said.

According to EDB sources, the Sri Lanka pavilion will also promote the country as an export hub driven by innovative products and services, prioritising the identified focused areas in the National Export Strategy (NES). The government expects to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in particular in export-oriented manufacturing.

Bandara believes that Sri Lanka’s entrepreneurs and investors could use this platform to access the markets in the Gulf region and North Africa by capitalising on the UAE’s location as a strategic logistics hub.

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry have agreed to extend their support to Sri Lankan entrepreneurs and investors. The organisers of the Sri Lanka Pavilion have planned various activities and events, including exhibitions, Sri Lanka Day, special and experimental events and market initiative programs, to draw visitors, while relying on technology such as holograms. A notable portion of the government’s funds would go into marketing activities, which will have a significant focus on digital media.

The Sri Lankan organisers are also working on an aggressive plan with the Dubai Expo organisers to create awareness of scheduled events at the Sri Lanka Pavilion, through a mobile app. The Pavilion also consists of 172 sqm of office space, which will be for B2B meetings.

Sri Lanka’s business chambers also plan to have a mini exhibition outside the Sri Lanka Pavilion at the expo, with private sector funds. EDB Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Indira Malwatte in her capacity as Commissioner General for Sri Lanka for Expo 2020 Dubai, signed the participating contract on behalf of Sri Lanka with Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau Executive Director Najeeb Mohammed Al-ali early last month.

The mega exposition will be held on the theme ‘Connecting minds, creating the future’. The organisers plan to welcome the representatives of over 190 countries.

by Sanjeevi Jayasuriya

Source at: Sunday Observer