The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) has appointed a separate internal team to undertake necessary preparatory work of Sri Lanka’s participation at the upcoming World Expo 2020 that will be held in Dubai this year.
SLTPB Acting Managing Director Madhubani Perera told The Sunday Morning Business that a separate set of staff is working on a daily basis to ensure Sri Lanka’s participation at the Expo.
The responsibility for conducting preparatory work for Sri Lanka’s participation at Expo Dubai 2020, which had been vested with the Export Development Board (EDB), shifted to the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) in late last year.
The Expo, which will be held for a period of six months, was initially scheduled to be held in October 2020. The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the intergovernmental organisation in charge of overseeing and regulating World Expos, postponed the Expo to October 2021, following the peak of the pandemic in May.
However, mid-August last year, BIE Secretary General Dimitri Kerkentzes took to Twitter to state that pavilion construction is progressing well, as the pandemic has not impacted the preparation of the exhibition.
Following this, Sri Lanka resumed preparatory work to participate in the Dubai 2020 Expo, as Expo organisers confirmed that the preliminary work is underway to commence the six-month-long event in October 2021.
Sri Lanka’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai was hanging in the balance as of January last year due to bureaucratic delays, and the absence of required funds. Nevertheless, the postponement of the Expo due to Covid-19 came as a blessing in disguise for Sri Lanka.
The World Expo is one of the largest international events that takes place once every five years, and Dubai has been selected as the Expo’s next venue. It will mainly focus on tourism, investment promotion, and trade.
The Expo will be held under the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. The three subthemes are opportunity, mobility, and sustainability, based on which the master floor plan differs.
Sri Lanka’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will be located in the opportunity district, which consists of 212 sq. m of exhibit area on the ground floor and 172 sq. m of office space on the first floor. The Sri Lankan pavilion will be organised under the title “Island of Ingenuity”.
Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to attract over 25 million visitors, of which 70% will be international visitors. It is also expected that there will be more than 200 participants during the span of six months to showcase their countries. (The Sunday Morning)