Sri Lanka on full show in Zurich, Switzerland

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Swiss nationals and the young generation of Sri Lankan expatriates were able to explore the finest corners of culture and trade of Sri Lanka on Swiss soil after several decades at a three-day event organised by Vidarshana Munasinghe, Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Zurich, Switzerland.

The festival lasted from 9 to 11 September and was held in the City Hall of Bülach, close to the Zurich International Airport. A number of senior officials from the Swiss Foreign Ministry, residence ambassadors, Swiss dignitaries and many religious dignitaries joined Sri Lankan officials designated to WTO and UN to inaugurate the Sri Lanka Festival.

By organising an event of this nature Munasinghe brought Sri Lankan expatriates and Swiss citizens together in order to promote Sri Lanka as a fascinating destination for tourism and trade. Switzerland is one of the strong development partners of Sri Lanka and a number of well-known companies have invested in diverse areas such as cement, agriculture, gem and jewellery, textiles, tourism, electronic etc. Nestle Lanka Ltd., Holcim (Lanka) Ltd., A Baur & Co Ltd., SGS Lanka Ltd., CCS Lanka Ltd., Variosystems Ltd., Bischoff Gamma Lanka Ltd., Kuehne & Nagel Ltd., Daetrade International Ltd., ABB International Market Ltd. and Contrinex Ceylon Ltd. are some of the leading Swiss companies with their branches in Sri Lanka.

The tourism sector would be able to attract more high spending Swiss travellers to Sri Lanka. However due to the size of the market Sri Lanka was not able to pay adequate attention for tourism promotion activities in Switzerland in order to increase the number Swiss travellers coming to Sri Lanka. Therefore the Sri Lanka Cultural, Trade and Food Festival organised by Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka is an endeavour to fulfil the gap.

There were 28 stalls offering Sri Lankan Culinary and 22 stalls exhibiting other commercial products from Sri Lanka throughout the event. Visitors were able to taste different Sri Lankan fresh foods prepared on the spot and also fresh young coconuts, pineapples, mangoes and rambutan brought from Sri Lanka especially for the festival. Among many other things, visitors enjoyed the dancing performances of Sri Lankan artists which depicted vibrant and multifaceted culture of Sri Lanka.

Despite several hindrances from politically motivated extremist groups, the three day ‘Sri Lanka Cultural, Trade and Food festival’ initiated by Munasinghe was remarked as a highly successful event attracting more than 8,000 people to the event, which portrayed Sri Lanka’s rich culture, heritage and traditions among the Swiss participants.

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