From left: EDB Chairperson Indira Malwatte, Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama and University of Moratuwa Vice Chancellor K.K.C.K. Perera
Pic by Pradeep Pathirana
- Sri Lankan pavilion to be named ‘Island of Ingenuity’
- The event is expected to assist Sri Lanka in achieving Sri Lanka Vision 2025
By Harshana Sellahewa
Sri Lanka will make its debut at the upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai, with the aim of further promoting Sri Lanka as a tourist destination, facilitating international trade and attracting investors to the country.
With the Sri Lankan pavilion named ‘Island of Ingenuity’, it will offer an array of services from merchandise trading to ICT services and tourism attractions.
Sri Lanka’s participation at this event is expected to boost the image of the country, as well as strengthen relations with the UAE, aid in connectivity with Expo programmes and provide a platform for businesses to grow. It will also act as a platform to showcase Sri Lanka’s latest research and development efforts under the themes of Ingenious Products, Ingenious Services, and through Ingenious Creativity, providing insights into how the local heritage, environmental measures and key destinations can contribute to the modern-day consumer and challenges the world faces at present.
Export Development Board (EDB) Chairperson Indira Malwatte said that with the Expo 2020 Dubai themed ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, three sub-themes categorised the event, namely; ‘Opportunity’, ‘Mobility’ and Sustainability’, and Sri Lanka has selected the sub-theme ‘Opportunity’.
“Everybody is working for one country, one Sri Lanka. We all want to see the best possible display at this expo. I think that is extremely important because we are working as one team and it is a wonderful thing to have a team consisting of the private sector and government sector, thinking nothing but working for our country,” Malwatte said.
Meanwhile, Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama said that the government is rigorously promoting exports and doing its best to attract foreign direct investment (FDI).
“These two areas are absolutely essential if we are to get to the next stage from a low-middle income country to a middle-income country. It is only with increased FDI and increased exports that we can survive and pay off the debts that we have inherited over the last few years,” Samarawickrama said.
Expo 2020 Dubai will assist Sri Lanka in achieving the Sri Lanka Vision 2025 by supporting the growth of tourism, stimulating the development of innovative businesses and enhancing the country’s international reputation as a location to do business.
Export promotion programmes have been embarked upon through the National Export Strategy for market and product diversification, according to the EDB.
The programmes will be carried out under the theme ‘An Export Hub driven by Innovation and Investment’. This year’s expo is well fitting into this objective as it will showcase Sri Lanka’s quality offerings which will help increase market share, business and add exposure to local companies on emerging trends in technology. It will offer opportunities for negotiation on technology transfers, FDI discussions, resultant inflows and more.
The Sri Lankan pavilion would house 212 square-metres of exhibit area in the ground floor along with 172 square-metres of office space on the first floor, and the interior design concept developed and mastered by the University of Moratuwa.
The expo is scheduled to kick off on October 20, 2020 and end on April 10, 2021, spanning a total of six months. The event expects over 200 participants and a whopping 25 million visitors, of which 30 percent are expected to be UAE nationals and 70 percent international visitors.
Being a six-month exhibition that takes place every five years, the World Expo in 2013 awarded Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) as year 2020’s destination, marking the first time this event will be held in the Middle East, North African and South Asian region. The main site of Expo 2020 Dubai will be a 438 hectare (1,083 acres) area located midway between Dubai and