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Exhibitions enhance bilateral trade ties’

Muscat: Trade exhibitions of every country should be held every year in Oman as it is one of the important means to enhance bilateral trade, said Mohsin Khamis Al Balushi, advisor at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Inaugurating the first Sri Lankan trade exhibition and food festival yesterday at Al Falaj Hotel, Muscat he said, "Thebusiness relations between Oman and Sri Lanka is an old one and I have already suggested to the Ambassador to organise such events every year so that Omani traders can get to know of products and services through such exhibitions." "There are several potential products and services from Sri Lanka that can be promoted in a big way in the local market here.

There are many products that come indirectly through a third party and we would like to see that such products come here directly in the future. Sri Lanka can be vigorously promoted as an exciting tourist destination bearing in mind that Oman Air operates daily flight to and fro and four flights every week by Sri Lanka airlines," he added.

Asoka Girihagama, Sri Lankan Ambassador to the Sultanate, said, "Oman can be a thrust market for many products from Sri Lanka. By the end of the year, a trade delegation from Sri Lanka will visit Oman to explore business opportunities and promote our products and services."

"The two-way trade relations between the countries in 2011-12 stood at $232 million and the two countries have set up a target of reaching $250 million by 2015," he added.

Regarding the number of tourist arrivals, he said, "A total of little more than 2,000 tourists from Oman visited Sri Lanka in 2012 from 1,500 visitors who visited in 2011. We will conduct a tourism road show in Muscat by the end of the year to attract Omanis to visit our picturesque country." Held under the auspices of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Sultanate of Oman and organised by Al Nimr Expo and Business Process Outsourcing Services (BPOS) the expo has 25 stalls representing Sri Lankan business firms and companies, which exhibit a variety of products ranging from apparel, processed foods, tea, travel and tourism, herbal and spa, floriculture, organic products, gem and jewellery, fruits and vegetables, hotel supplies, handloom products and human resources to name a few.

The exhibition is open from 10am to 7pm today and from 9am to 2pm to 2.00 pm on Thursday.

The exhibition is followed by a food festival from 7pm to 11.30pm each day.
The food festival each day at the pool-side brings a world of culinary experience. This will be an ideal opportunity for foodies to savour and relish age-old ancient Sri Lankan cuisine rustled up by celebrity Sri Lankan chefs specially flown in by Oman Hotels.

An opportunity to learn about how the dishes are prepared and the history of its ingredients is being offered.