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Expo 2015 launched: Sri Lanka to connect stronger to the west

( Posted on May 6, 2015 )

Expo 2015 launched: Sri Lanka to connect stronger to the west

The most celebrated event in the world next to the Olympic Games that happens every five years since the inception in 1931, was launched amidst a distinctive world gathering by the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on the 1st of May at the open air stage at World Expo site in Milano Italy.This year’s event which is expected to attract over a twenty million people into the beautiful city of Milano will be on show until the 31st of October 2015 under the theme Feed the world given the challenges the world is up against. Sri Lanka was represented by the Charge d Affairs for Sri Lanka in Italy Poshitha Perera ,The Commissioner General Expo -Sri Lanka Dr. Rohantha Athukorala and the Deputy Commissioner General D.W Jinadasa.

Charge d Affairs Italy Poshitha Perera, Commissioner General Expo Rohantha Athukorala

At the Opening of the Sri Lanka Pavilion, The Charge d Affairs for Italy Poshita Perera voiced it is very timely that Sri Lanka further strengthen partnership with the west given the strong trade and business that takes place between Sri Lanka the western part of the world as per the Government policy. It must be commended on how the seven key state agencies- Sri Lanka Tourism, EDB, Sri Lanka Tea Board, National Gem and Jewelry Authority, The BOI, Sri Lankan airlines and Craft Council are working in unison under the Commissioner General to project brand Sri Lanka. We must now extend this working relationships in the future, so that we can really show the strength of Sri Lanka in Italy and the rest of the world. From Ceylon tea to Ceylon sapphire, From Ceylon cinnamon to the Sri Lanka tourism promise which are all global market champions in their respective businesses which isunique only to Sri Lanka. We must highlight these elements at Expo on a private-public partnership that has been ably planned by the working committee he said.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the Expo launch with Former President Italy

The Commissioner General Rohantha Athukorala in a very objective statement said " I must commend the leadership of Prime Minister for securing this space at gratis from the government of Italy and the two ministers who gave us timely direction namely, the Hon. minister of Tourism Navin Dissanayake and Hon. minister for Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathuideen for helping us stage this event in just 5 weeks with necessary approvals from the cabinet of ministers. Having visited the key competitive country pavilions at Expo 2015, my take is that that it's time that Sri Lanka focusses from the challenges internally to the macro global trends in the world market and strategize  how we can capture them. Just to take a que he cited the country pavilions of Khazakhaztan, Angola, Nepal and Vietnam which indicate the aggressiveness and appetite the countries are having on to get global share on trade and tourism. We have alot of catching up to do accepted Athukorala who is also the chairman of Sri Lanka tourism promotions bureau. When I visited the Malaysian and Thailand Country Pavilions,  we see how strong they are on digital space driving on line connectivity which is which is where the global traveller behavior is moving towards and Sri Lanka needs align with speed. I am glad as a team Sri Lanka took the 1st step to be present at Expo 2015 and now let's work together to take Sri Lanka the power house of South Asia said Athukorala who architecture the Nation brand building strategy at expo 2015 for Sri Lanka.   

Participants at the Inauguration

Kids having fun at the Expo 2015 kids zone

Currently Sri Lanka is valued at 61 billion dollars as per Brand finance( UK) and it is poised to cross a eighty billion dollars  plus in the next two years given that the drag on this value in the past was on the pivotal area of 'Governance'. This has now been corrected post the new government coming to play on the 8th January 2015 voice the experts.  Research reveals that countries with strong brand value tends to attract top quality investments, exports become stronger whilst it becomes an attractive tourist destination for top dollar global traveller said Athukorala.

Sri Lanka showcased at Expo 2015 opening ceremony in Milano, Italy

Many private sector professionals who have agreed to shoulder public office under the new government say that the basic social fabrication must be speedily corrected in the public sector whilst reforms will have to be introduced on the processes if we are to really work at the speed that competition is moving. Whilst Sri Lanka is ranked the best in the doing business index of the world Bank for South Asia, has failed to attract the top investors of the world and this has to be corrected says the specialists. The visit by Senator John Kerry which is the highest ranking US official to have visited Sri Lanka in the last decade is big win for the country said Athukorala as we make it the share of voice in global media.

Sri Lankan airlines counter at the World Expo 2015

The focus for the the month of May for Sri Lanka at Expo 2015 will be Tourism with the Minister for Tourism and Sports Hon Navin Dissanayake scheduled to visit the event and  give leadership with some key strategic partnerships announced. The Ministries are lined up to executive strong global pressure to capture business for Sri Lanka in a private public partnership during the next six months said the Commissioner General. The Expo 2015 Sri Lanka Pavilion has a VVIP room for high level meetings and a fully fledged media room for announcing strategic partnerships. We will cover the cost of the Expo 2015 by end the first month said Athukorala advocating a ROI model of working.

Visitors from Kenya at the Sri Lanka Tea Board counter at Expo 2015


Italian Visitors at the Sri Lanka Tourism desk at World Expo 2015

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