Sri Lanka attracts US$ 500 million business through Dubai Expo
Daily News: Both public and private sector companies have secured over US$ 500 million worth of deals and opportunities by participating in the ongoing Dubai Expo here.Negotiations were also opened to secure a US$ 100 million bid for some of the large gemstones that were found in Sri Lanka towards the latter parts of December last year.
Officials from the Gem Corporation at the Sri Lanka Pavilion of the Expo told Daily News Business that a large gem buyer was keen to purchase the largest gem cluster found in Ratnapura recently and he is keen to pay US$ 100 million.
“In addition, the local stalls that were at the Sri Lanka Pavilion have already sold over USD 20 million worth of merchandise and orders were secured for further orders.”
Meanwhile, Chairman Handicraft Board, (Laksala) Lakmal Wicramarachchi said that they too sold handicrafts to the value of over US$. 2.5 million so far and this revenue went directly to end producers in rural areas. Our target is to pass the US$ 5 million mark when the expo ends,” he said.
“We have also found several partners in UAE who will sell our products to the gulf and now we also plan to open a Laksala Store in Dubai.”
Tourism Minister, Prasanna Ranatunga told Daily News Business that they expect US$ 2.5 billion revenue from Tourism in 2022 and anticipate around 2.3 million tourist arrivals. Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Tourism Representative Niyomi Delpita told the Sri Lankan media that Sri Lanka as a destination earned over US$ 100 million worth of media publicity.
Sri Lanka Consul General in Dubai Nalinda Wijerathna said the Sri Lanka Pavilion has been a great opportunity to attract interest from visitors around the globe.
“Sri Lanka Pavilion has been visited by over 50,000 since the start of Expo in October,” he said. He said tourism, exports products such as gems tea and other plantation industries, investments, including opportunities in Port City, were promoted at the pavilion.
She said that Multilac paints have already shipped two containers of paints to Dubai as a result of meeting a direct buyer from the Dubai Expo. Similarly, Malwatte Spices too entered into a Joint Venture with a Dubai partner.
Colombo Port City and Siddhalepa too have gained from the 190-day Expo while several local travel companies too inked several deals.
Sri Lanka’s exposure at the Dubai Expo and the value of the businesses/investments attracted by the country are indicative of the growing opportunities in the island. Sri Lanka is working towards becoming a business hub in the South Asian region and the country’s ongoing development programme and the many trade agreements as well as concessions enjoyed by the country will all help boost the country’s growing business potential. With a steady growth in tourist arrivals to the country, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, especially in the leisure and hospitality sectors, present an expanding business/investment opportunities.
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