By Zahara Haris
Sri Lanka announced its participation in ‘Expo Milano 2015’ hosted by Milan, Italy, at a recent press briefing attended by Sports and Tourism Minister Navin Dissanayake, Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, Ambassador of Italy in Sri Lanka Fabrizio Arpea, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotional Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Rohantha Athukorala and many other distinguished guests.
Expo Milano 2015, held under the theme ‘Feeding the planet, energy for life’, is a global cultural, educational and scientific event, which aims to explore the global food and sustainable development challenge.
This world-wide six-month event will be from May 1 to October 31, 2015, which expects around 20 million visitors at the exposition site and 140 countries are expected to participate with exhibitions and delegations as Expo Milano 2015 brings together countries from all over the world, which have been charged with illustrating their own interpretation of the theme: Feeding the planet, energy for life, to include ways in which these challenges can be addressed.
The Italian government decided in 2011 to officially invite all states of the United Nations and open the doors of Expo Milano 2015 also to non-governmental organisations and to companies as key stakeholders in the global debate on the challenges related to nutrition and food.
SLTPB Chairman Rohantha Athukorala has been nominated as the Commissioner General for Sri Lanka at Expo Milan 2015.
This event will help Sri Lankan companies to find business partners across the globe to penetrate the European market and promote a wide range of products such as coconut products, dry fruit, vegetables, beverages, bakery products, health products, herbal and organic-based products, gem and jewellery, etc.
Speaking at the event Athukorala said that in 2013, 20 million Googled Sri Lanka for Tourism and in 2014 it reached 23 million and 1.5 million visitors visited Sri Lanka in 2014.
The Cabinet tasked the Tourist Board to champion the event partnering the Sri Lanka Export Development together with Sri Lanka Tea Board, National Craft Council, SriLankan Airlines and Board of Investment.