Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama, together with the Chairperson and Chief Executive of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), Indira Malwatte, met with the organising committee, subcommittee, sponsors and partners of the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) 2016 at its progress review meeting.
“This is one of the biggest events the new Government has undertaken,” Minister Samarawickrama stated, “and we are well on track to making it an exceptional global conference.”
The conference currently has 361 registered foreign participants and 282 registered local participants, a number that is rapidly growing with more registrations expected within the period until the event commences.
WEDF 2016, an international two-day forum facilitating international trade, is scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka on 12 and 13 October. The International Trade Centre (ITC), together with the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade of Sri Lanka, through the EDB, is organising the conference on the theme ‘Trade for Success: Connect, Compete, Change’.
Of the event’s 44 speakers, 32 are foreign, including policymakers, trade experts, trade analysts and business leaders.
All those present were taken through the various areas of focus by the specific subcommittees, with the sponsors being briefed on stall plans for the mini exhibition, which will host a total of 48 booths at the event’s venue, the BMICH.
DFCC Bank Plc, the exclusive Banking Partner for the event, and Brandix, its exclusive Sectorial Partner representing Sri Lanka’s apparel sector, are Platinum Sponsors. Expolanka Holdings and Link Natural Products will be Gold Sponsors at WEDF 2016 with Nestlé Lanka Plc, Dialog Axiata Plc and CIC Holdings joining in as Silver Sponsors. The country’s national carrier SriLankan Airlines is on board as the official Airline Partner for the event while EWIS Information Systems takes on the role of IT Partner of the two-day conference, with Wijeya Newspapers stepping in as the preferred local Print Media Partner.
“To the sponsors and partners of this event, thank you for showing us your support,” Minister Samarawickrama said.
“Today the public and private sector are working together to stage a much-anticipated international conference. The important thing to remember is we need to continue this pace and keep working at it since the whole world is watching. We need to continue this momentum because there are far greater heights that can be reached based on the success of this summit.”
Additionally, a progress report was given on the business-to-business (B2B) meetings, one of the main attractions of the conference. Registered companies have a promising networking platform to expedite business opportunities and partnerships, both regionally and globally. Sectors such as tourism, information and communication technology (ICT), apparel and most importantly manufacturing will be covered for high potential buyers and sellers at these meetings.
As of now, a total of 100 Sri Lankan companies have registered for the B2B meetings. The number of international buyers registered under the EDB is 62, with a final target of 50, with the ITC also targeting to bring in 50 more international buyers, out of which 32 have already registered.
“We are thrilled with the number of registrations that are pouring in,” Malwatte stated. “It shows that Sri Lanka is today looked upon as an investment friendly country. We must show the world we are capable of hosting events of such global prominence and keep moving ahead in the same direction, aiming to host events such as the World Economic Forum in the future.”
The branding, advertising, event setup, main forum setup, committee rooms, breakout session rooms and trade stall options were also discussed at length by the organisers.
The full agenda for the conference can be found at www.wedf.edb.gov.lk/index.php/about/aboutforum. The EDB will continue to release information related to the conference, speaker list and fringe events in the lead-up to the conference on the dedicated web portal www.wedf.edb.gov.lk.
For further information related to sponsorship opportunities contact EDB Additional Director General/Development Jeevani Siriwardena on 071 8365001 and for participation EDB Industrial Products Director Chitranjali Dissanayake on 0718071163.