Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association held a meeting with the Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake recently to discuss the proposed ‘Sri Lanka Shopping Festival.’
The fair which will be similar to the ‘Dubai Shopping Festival’, ‘Great Singapore Sale’ and ‘Malaysian Mega Shopping Carnival’ will target both the foreign and local shoppers by offering various choices and discounts, with considerable savings, while it will be colored by cultural and sporting events, musical programmes and book exhibitions etc.
During the meeting, Minister Ravi Karunanayake proposed to establish a national steering committee by involving state agencies such as the, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Development Strategies & International Trade, Ministry of Plantation Industries, Export Development Board, Sri Lanka Tea Board, Sri Lankan Airlines, Hotels Association, Travel Agents Association, and Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association and also the media to work on the event. The committee, once set up will drive and coordinate the project in line with the proposed government allocation of Rs. 50 million for the ‘Colombo Fair’.
Chairman of SLRA, Asoka Peiris , Hussain Sadique, Deputy Managing Director of Hameedia’s, together with SLRA members comprising Kaushalya Perera, Director of DSI, Ajith Amarasekera, CEO of Swarnamahal Jewellers, Nasser Majeed, CEO of Softlogic Retail, Mehraj Sally, Group Director of Mydeal.lk, Nauseer Ahamed, CFO of The Factory Outlet, Tony Bastiansz, Marketing Manager of Exclusive Lines and Leonard Perera, Founder Convener & Head of Business were among the team, who met with the Finance Minister.
Suresh Perera, Principal – Tax & Regulatory of KPMG and Rifka Ziyard, Senior Manager of KPMG was also in attendance.
Speaking on the proposed Shopping Festival, Hussain Sadique, of SLRA said, “Currently we see an increase in tourist arrivals and there are limited activities in the country to attract shoppers. Tourist visits are usually only limited to historical locations”. Commenting further, he also said that the project’s main objective is to attract visitors from countries, such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Male and other Asian and European countries together with the Middle East to visit the Sri Lankan Shopping Festival.