Sri Lanka is now officially an approved participant at the World Expo 2020 Dubai as the Government of Sri Lanka signed the Official Participation Contract with the "Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau” on 08th July 2019. The high level delegation to the UAE for the Contract signing Ceremony was led by Hon. Nalin Bandara, Deputy Minister of Development Strategies & International Trade. Ms. Indira Malwatte, Chairperson & Chief Executive, Sri Lanka Export Development Board as the Commissioner General for Sri Lanka of Expo 2020 Dubai, signed the Official Participation Contract on behalf of Sri Lanka with Mr. Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau in the presence of Hon. Nalin Bandara, Deputy Minister of Development Strategy and International Trade.
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.
Mr. Najeeb Ali welcoming the Sri Lankan delegation, briefed on the extent of the progress of the construction and arrangements for hosting Expo Dubai 2020. He further explained that 192 countries have already confirmed participation and it will 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 to the world at the Expo.
Hon. Nalin 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 Mr. Najeeb Ali and his team to visit Sri Lanka for the EXPO launch that is to be scheduled shortly.
Mrs. Malwatte explained the Expo Organizers of the comprehensive groundwork that have 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 organized in a Public Private Partnership model under the “Water” theme which has been designed by the students of Moratuwa University. 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 cross cutting events that will be coordinated with “Water” theme.
The Expo 2020 Dubai is the most awaited mega Exposition held in the UAE under the theme of “Connecting minds, Creating the future” that welcomes more than 190 participating countries and over 25 millions of visitors from across the world to create, collaborate and innovate to generate a sustainable future. The Expo 2020 Dubai hosts the world for 173 days starting from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021 and spreads in a land area of 438 hectares within the proximity of Dubai.
Sri Lankan delegation included Mr. Charitha Yattogoda, Sri Lanka Consul General in Dubai, Officials from the Sri Lanka Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Consulate in Dubai. The delegation also comprised of other Government Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Export Development Board, Board of Investment, Sri Lanka Tea Board, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Sri Lanka Airlines and key private sector partners representing 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 Lanka Business and Professional’s Associations such as Sri Lanka Business Council in Dubai & North Emirates, Charted Accounts Sri Lanka – UAE Chapter, Sri Lanka Professional Association were also present during the ceremony pledging their fullest support for a successful participation at Expo 2020 Dubai.