Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Independence of Sri Lanka and the 25th year of the establishment of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka, the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai and the Northern Emirates celebrated the both occasions at a grand National day reception event held in Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, in Dubai.
Over 400 guests including key personalities such as diplomats representing over 50 countries consisting of more than 40 Consuls General of the Consulates General based in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, Emirati dignitaries, leading businessmen operating in the UAE, representatives of the Sri Lankan Associations based in Dubai & the Northern Emirates along with key figures of the Sri Lankan expatriate community in UAE, graced this event with their participation, which was held at the much sought after location in the Burj Khalifa building itself.
During the speech made on this occasion, Charitha Yattogoda, Consul General of Sri Lanka to Dubai and the Northern Emirates highlighted that the development process spearheaded by the President and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was gaining momentum in both the local and international spheres.
He further added that, “in line with the Government of Sri Lanka’s vision 2025, it has been envisaged to position Sri Lanka as an export-oriented economic hub in the Indian Ocean, securing opportunities for local businesses in the Global Production Networks. In keeping with vision 2025, concrete steps will be taken to shift from exporting mainly low-technology products to high tech products and to attract transformational, knowledge-based investments.”
Speaking on the bilateral relations, the Consul General further added that “over the decades, Sri Lanka has been enjoying friendly relations with the UAE in the fields of trade, investment, Tourism and economic cooperation. The cordial relations between Sri Lanka and the UAE are based on trust, mutual understanding and friendship. The UAE is the largest export market for the Sri Lankan products and the largest source of imports to Sri Lanka in the GCC Region. The total bilateral trade turnover between the countries has now reached over US$ 1.34 billion.”
The Consul General further briefed the gathering on the measures taken by the Consulate General to enhance its services provided to the Sri Lankan Community in Dubai and the Northern Emirates such as the translation of its website to both Sinhala and Tamil, in keeping with the trilingual policy of the Government of Sri Lanka an in addition to the achievements of the Consulate General such as winning the “Best-Website or Microsite” award at the SLT Zero One Awards for digital excellence, held in Sri Lanka in last year.
Throughout the event, the pictures were displayed specifically promoting tourism industry of Sri Lanka in the backdrop, depicting the photos of Sri Lanka as a unique destination complete with heritage, nature, beaches, wildlife, tranquility and etc, and it received a commendable response from the foreign gathering. The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau was also the major sponsor of the event.
In addition, five (05) minute video clips, displaying the touristic attractions of Sri Lanka and the investment opportunities available for the potential investors were played during the event, thereby boosting Sri Lanka’s image as a much sought-after destination among the elite crowd. (Colombo Gazette)