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 Twenty member delegations comprising of travel agents and media personals will undertake a familiarisation tour to Sri Lanka from 06 – 15 July 2019.  The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Board (SLTPB) in coordination with the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Sydney has organised this familiarisation tour for Australian travel agents.

The host province of Yunnan is a hub of the ancient southern Silk Road because of its easy access to the rest of China and the South and Southeast Asia regions.
Business Forum proves itself an effective platform for exchanges among participants
Sri Lanka Theme Pavilion Promoted Sri Lanka as the Hub of South Asia featuring the Colombo Port City.
Sri Lanka promoted as the destination for Yunnan Travelers
Sri Lanka, the Theme Country for 2019, attended the 6th South Asia EXPO from 12th to 18th June in Kunming, China, with 104 Sri Lankan Exhibitors and in an area of 600 Sqm Theme Pavilion showcasing our major export products such as Tea, Gem and Jewellery, Handicrafts, Spices, Ayurvedic products and Agricultural Products as well as featuring Sri Lanka as a major investment and tourism destination highlighting Colombo Port City – the Hub of South Asia along with many more tourism attractions to the large no. of visitors from China. Deputy Minister of International Trade and Development Strategies Hon. Nalin Bandara Jayamaha together with H E the Ruan Chengfa, the Governor of Yunnan Province, ceremonially opened Sri Lanka’s Theme pavilion. Hon. Nalin Bandara delivered the keynote address at the opening Ceremony of the 6th South Asia Expo and the 14th China-South Asia Business Forum held on the sidelines of the 6th China-South Asia Expo.
In his speech, the Hon. Minister highlighted the enormous potential for further promotion of trade and investment between Sri Lanka and China before the large gathering of business entrepreneurs representing South Asia and the South East Asia region and invited the Chinese entrepreneurs especially the Yunnan Province investors to engage in development projects and economic activities in Sri Lanka.
While thanking the Yunnan Government for giving Sri Lanka the opportunity to be the Theme Country at the 6th South Asia Expo, Hon.  Minister further stated that the efforts The Chinese Government has made to organize this huge event clearly shows Chinese Government’s desire to expand imports from South Asian countries amid its efforts to deepen reform and strengthen relations. He said this is an indication of China’s attention to the concerns of South Asian countries over the trade balance, and readiness to inject impetus into trade between South Asian countries.
Hon. Minister requested the Governor of Yunnan Province and the business leaders present at the opening ceremony to encourage Yunnan domestic enterprises to expand their investment to Sri Lanka and push forward cooperation in major projects and invest in sectors such as Electronics, Boat Building, Food Processing, Wellness Tourism and IT/BPO sectors in order to enhance the Sri Lanka’s exports base in these sectors. Further, Hon. Minister emphasized the importance of Technology Transfer between China and Sri Lanka in order to utilize the potentials of Belt and Road initiative. Highlighting the Sri Lanka’s Theme Pavilion Hon. Minister said Yunnan can integrate its advanced industries with the developmental needs of Sri Lanka.  Sri Lanka’s Theme Pavilion portrayed The Colombo Port City that will transform Sri Lanka as the hub of South Asia and attracted large number of visitors. The Governor of Yunnan Province was keen on the opportunities offered by the Colombo Port City and accepted Hon. Minister’s invitation to visit Sri Lanka  
The Secretary of the Chen Hao Party of Yunnan Province said the Expo is an important step for achieving the consensus reached at the second belt and road forum for international cooperation held in Beijing in April. He further stated that The South and Southeast Asia Commodity Expo and Investment Fair have created an effective platform for regional cooperation.
This year the event was held at the Kunming Dianchi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Centre. According to the event's organizing committee, representatives from more than 3,300 enterprises in 74 countries and regions, China's 20 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, as well as deputies of international organizations have attended the expo. Among those enterprises, nearly half of them are from foreign countries, including 20 companies listed in Fortune Global 500. Exhibitors from a variety of industries and regions displayed their products, technologies, solutions and services in 17 exhibition halls with a total area of 170,000 square meters.
The China-South Asia Expo and Kunming Trade Fair are two investment extravaganzas designed to further integrate the Spring City's economy with those of China's neighbors.
With the theme of "A better gateway and powerhouse for shared development and prosperity", the expo composed of 14 events. Events include the 2019 China-South Asia and Southeast Asia Arts Week; the second China-South Asia Cooperation Forum; the third China-Southeast Asia Business Forum and a signing ceremony for trade and investment projects. With the theme of "A better gateway and powerhouse for shared development and prosperity", the expo was composed of 14 events. Events include the 2019 China-South Asia and Southeast Asia Arts Week; the second China-South Asia Cooperation Forum; the third China-Southeast Asia Business Forum and a signing ceremony for trade and investment projects.
The Sri Lankan Pavilion was organized by the Department of Commerce of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce together with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing and active support and cooperation from the FCCISL, Sri Lanka Tea Board and the National Gem and Jewellery Authority.
Many Sri Lankan small and medium scale enterprises were provided with the opportunity to display their unique products in a platform to expose to the wide Chinese market as well as the international buyers.
The volume of trade between China and South Asia has been growing over the past years. Sri Lanka’s exports to China registered at a mere 35 Million USD in 2007 and now it has reached to more than 230 Million USD.  China is the second largest country for tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka in 2018, and has been increasing its investment in the island nation’s developments significantly in recent years.
Under the belt and Road initiative, Sri Lanka is faced with prime development Opportunities and there is a huge market in Yunnan Province that needs to be explored. Participating at the South Asia Expo and the steady promotion of Business Cooperation Sri Lanka has set up the cooperative platform to achieve greater benefit. The prominent Sri Lanka Pavilion continued to attract numerous Visitors during the duration of the fair bringing fairly positive results. H E the Ambassador Karunasena Kodituwakku, Mr. Alexi Gunasekera, Minister (Commercial) along with Ms Sonali Wijerathna, Director General of Commerce and officials of the Department of Commerce were present at the event.

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