Sri Lanka becomes official participant at world’s largest exhibition

Sri Lanka is now officially an approved participant at the World Expo 2020 Dubai, known as the world’s largest exhibition, as the Government signed the Official Participation Contract with the “Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau” recently.

World Expo 2020 Dubai will welcome an anticipated 25 million visitors over the course of 173 days from October 2020, and will be the largest-ever event to be held in the Middle East.

The Export Development Board announced that the high-level delegation to the UAE for the contract-signing ceremony held on 8 July 2019 was led by Deputy Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Nalin Bandara. Sri Lanka Export Development Board Chairperson and Chief Executive Indira Malwatte, as the Commissioner General representing Sri Lanka for World Expo 2020 Dubai, signed the Official Participation Contract on behalf of Sri Lanka with Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau Executive Director Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali in the presence of Bandara.

On the sidelines of the contract-signing ceremony, the delegation visited the Expo site and the Sri Lankan delegates were able to visit the Sri Lankan pavilion as well which is under construction. The delegation also took the opportunity to meet with Expo technical teams to discuss specific activities and obtained clarifications relating to Sri Lanka’s participation at Expo Dubai.

Al-Ali, while welcoming the Sri Lankan delegation, briefed them on the extent of the progress of the construction and arrangements for hosting Expo Dubai 2020. He further explained that 192 countries had already confirmed participation and it would be the most diverse expo in the world with dedicated pavilions for each individual country. UAE is looking forward to seeing what Sri Lanka has to offer the world at the World Expo 2020.

Bandara, speaking on the occasion of the signing ceremony, appreciated the support given by the UAE Government for Sri Lanka to have an assisted pavilion. He explained that Sri Lanka looks for further collaborations in future and invited Al-Ali and his team to visit Sri Lanka for the Expo launch that is to be scheduled shortly.

Malwatte explained to the Expo organisers the comprehensive groundwork that has been done so far by the Sri Lankan side in preparation for its participation. She stressed on the fact that Sri Lanka’s pavilion will be organised in a public-private partnership model under the theme of “Water” which was designed by students of the University of Moratuwa. She added that throughout the six months of the Expo, Sri Lanka will be representing the main sectors highlighted in the National Export Strategy (NES) under the larger theme of “Island of Ingenuity” and there will be events that will be co-ordinated with the theme of “Water”.

Expo 2020 Dubai is the most-awaited mega exposition to be held in the UAE under the theme of “Connecting minds, creating the future” and welcomes more than 190 participating countries and over 25 million of visitors from across the world to create, collaborate, and innovate to generate a sustainable future. Expo 2020 Dubai hosts the world for 173 days from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021 and is spread out over an area of 438 hectares within the proximity of Dubai.

The Sri Lankan delegation included Sri Lanka’s Consul General in Dubai Charitha Yattogoda, officials from the Sri Lanka Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate in Dubai. The delegation also comprised of other government officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Export Development Board, Board of Investment, Sri Lanka Tea Board, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, SriLankan Airlines, and key private sector partners representing the National Chamber of Exporters and National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka.

Representing the large number of Sri Lankan professionals based in the UAE, officials from Sri Lankan business and professionals associations such as Sri Lanka Business Council in Dubai and North Emirates, Charted Accounts Sri Lanka – UAE Chapter, and Sri Lanka Professional Association were also present during the ceremony pledging their fullest support for successful participation at Expo 2020 Dubai.