Historic Expo series dates back to 1851, London 20 m will discover Sri Lanka exports: Rishad Lanka gears to showcase wider range of products Also looking at EU market from Milan: Rishad 2014 exports at $11.9 b
Sri Lanka has promptly moved on 26 March to leverage a universal global expo series whose history extends back to 1851 in London to hold its exports edge and vowed to showcase its exports diversification strength at the latest exposition in the series coming up in Milano, Italy this May.
“We are looking forward to promote a wide range of products at Italy’s Expo Milan 2015. The last World Expo that Sri Lanka took part in was Expo 2012 held in South Korea,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 26 March, addressing the launch event of Italy’s Expo Milan 2015 in Colombo.
The event held through a six-month period of 1 May to 31 October in Milan, Italy is the latest in the once in a five year series of universal expos whose first show was held in 1851 at London’s Crystal Palace. The 2015 Milano Expo is expected to be attended by no less than 20 million visitors and is structured around the themes of rice, cocoa and chocolate, coffee, fruits and legumes, spices, cereals and tubers, bio- Mediterranean, islands – sea and food and arid zones and is an effort of Bureau International des Expositions (BIE).
“President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in their 100-day program have declared export promotion as an important goal. To achieve this and arrive at our $ 20 b goal by 2020, the Export Development Board has launched many activities, Expo Milan is one of them. Sri Lanka will be participating at the World Expo Milan 2015 with a great focus on the fruits and legumes cluster. We are also looking forward to promote a wide range of products at Expo Milan 2015 to the 20 million visitors, apart from fruits and legumes. They are coconut products, dry fruits and vegetables, beverages, confectionary, bakery products, health products, herbal and organic products, cereal based products, gems and jewellery and handicraft products. Facilitating our exporters to international trade fairs is a key strategy of the EDB so that our exports promotions become vigorous,” said Bathiudeen.
He added: “The World Exposition or World Expo we are talking about today is a major effort to hold promotions in major cities of selected countries under different themes. Expo Milan 2015 is a universal exhibition which will be held under the international symposium on ‘Feeding the Plant Energy for Life’. Through a Cabinet decision the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau is organising Sri Lanka’s participation at the Expo Milan 2015 in collaboration with the Department of Commerce, Export Development Board and the Sri Lanka Embassy in Rome. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman Rohantha Athukorala has been nominated as the Commissioner General of the Sri Lanka Section of the World Expo Milan 2015. This is an excellent opportunity for Sri Lankan companies across all sectors to find business partners from across the globe. They can create direct contacts with new buyers for those who want to penetrate the European market.”
Sri Lanka’s earnings from exports of merchandise and services for 2014 stood at $ 11.9 b 31% of Lankan exports headed to the EU while 25% was absorbed by the USA. Also merchandise only exports for January and February this year stood at $ 1.75 b with a month-on-month increase of 1.7%.