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Lanka trade, food fest in October

Muscat: To mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between Oman and Sri Lanka, the country's embassy is all set to host the Sri Lankan Trade Exhibition and Food Festival in October.

Speaking to Times of Oman, Asoka Girihagama, the Sri Lankan ambassador said, "The dates for the trade exhibition and food festival have been fixed for October 10, 11, 12 at Al Falaj Hotel.-

The ambassador added, "This is the first time in the recent past that Sri Lankan entrepreneurs have an opportunity to showcase their products and services in Oman. I believe Oman is one of the promising destinations among the Gulf countries for Sri Lankan products.-

Around 40 Sri Lankan business firms and companies will exhibit around 30 different products including apparel, electrical and electronics, foot wear and leather products, tea, printing and stationery, wooden products, rubber and rubber based items, boat building, floriculture, diamonds, gems and jewellery, ornamental fish, ceramic, handloom, processed foods, toys, handicraft, tourism, herbal and spa, among other items at the exhibition.

"We firmly believe that this trade exhibition will be a gateway to Sri Lankan products to enter the Sultanate's market. We are positive that we will be able to elicit a good response from people in Oman,- Girihagama said.

The ambassador is positive that this exhibition will contribute immensely to the already close relations between Sri Lanka and the Sultanate of Oman.

Growing trade
"The trade between Sri Lanka and Oman stood at $102 million in 2010. I believe it will grow up to $500 million during my stay,- said Girihagama, who took office as ambassador some 10 months ago.

The ambassador also believes that the recently established Oman Sri Lankan Business Council will boost trade ties.

"At present we are drafting the constitution for Oman Sri Lankan Business Council. After setting up the constitution, we can link it up with the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Thereafter, we can promote Omani business in Sri Lanka and vice versa. This is the objective of the business council,- he explained.

The food festival planned on the sidelines of the exhibition will showcase the culinary diversity of the country.

A minister carrying an important portfolio will also visit Oman during Sri Lankan Trade Exhibition and Food Festival.

Inviting Omanis to discover Sri Lanka, the ambassador said, "We would like to see more and more tourists visiting from the Middle East region to Sri Lanka to see environmental and cultural diversity of this island. The facilities in our hotel sector include prayer rooms and halal food etc.

"Sri Lankans are famous for hospitality and smiling faces, which would add more value to the booming industry.-

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Mrudu Naik

June 24, 2012

Source : Times of Oman.