Sri Lanka cynosure of nations at the Izmir international fair

Wednesday, 4 September 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka which enjoyed “Partner Country” status at the 82nd Izmir International Trade Fair in Turkey was a major attraction among the thousands of visitors that flocked daily to view the exhibition as well as from the thirty five participating nations. Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Turkey Bharathi Wijeratna, who was primarily responsible  for securing  the country’s partnership status  had arranged meetings for visiting foreign  dignitaries and leaders of country delegations to meet with Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister of Investment Promotion Faiszer Musthapha who is currently in Turkey on an investment promotion mission. A high powered team of the provisional government of Libya headed by the Deputy Minister of Industry Abubaker M. Elghawi met with the Sri Lankan delegation led by Minister Musthapha on Sunday. Later in the day, delegations from Gambia and Gabon called on the Deputy Minister to discuss ways and means of improving bilateral relations on trade and investment. All three countries responded to a request made by the Deputy Minister and agreed to send teams of officials from their countries to Sri Lanka to gain hands-on knowledge of the investment opportunities and potential for establishing joint venture projects in Sri Lanka utilising their resources with technological support from Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s ambassador in Turkey, Bharathi Wijeratna suggested that Gambia could gain using the benefits under Sri Lanka’s Free Trade Agreements. Thus trading with Sri Lanka adds value to their agricultural products such as cashew and fruits and could offer a win-win situation, particularly in the food processing industry. It was also decided to explore possibilities of sharing Sri Lankan expertise in the field of hospitality management in Gambia. Sri Lanka also offered to extend assistance to develop the IT sector in the above countries by providing the services of software professionals. The above meetings were followed by discussions between country officials and Sri Lankan business community participating at the Izmir international trade fair. Export Development Board Director General Sujatha Weerakone, Board of Investment Executive Director Duminda Ariyasinghe and officials representing the Central Cultural Fund, Sri Lanka Handicrafts Board made presentations on their respective sectors of activities.