Strong Lankan presence vies for lion’s share

Hotel Asia Exhibition opens today:



By Zacki Jabbar in Male


 The Hotel Asia Exhibition gets underway today in Male with a strong Sri Lankan presence that would be vying for a greater share of supplies to the Maldivian hotel industry, which was recovering from an economic downturn.


The Economic Development Minister of the Maldives, Ahmed Mohammed, is scheduled to declare open the three-day event which would be held at the Dharubaarugge Exhibition Hall.


The Culinary Challenge, which has been made a four-day event, instead of the usual three-day, commenced yesterday.  


Around 40 Sri Lankan hotel suppliers, occupying about 60 stalls, would be competing with some of the best on the international stage including companies from Asia, West Asia, Europe and the USA.


The Managing Director of Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services (LECS), Arjun Dharmadasa said that despite the political and economic upheavals that the Maldives had been through in recent years, Hotel Asia had grown with the country slowly recovering from the recession.


Sri Lankan companies, he observed, had been given yet another opportunity to service the Maldivian hotel and resort industry with total solutions and hopefully secure the lions share.


Dharmadasa said that the Culinary Challenge had attracted around 400 entries this year, making it the largest since its inception. He noted that the Cooking Competition had developed rapidly in complementing the exhibition segment.


The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Michele J. Sison was expected to visit the exhibition, Dharmadasa said.


Director LECS, Imran Hassan said that a range of products and services including the latest innovations would be on display at the nearly 150 stalls that had been erected, making it bigger than last year.


The Sri Lanka-Maldives Business Council (SLMBC), National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) and the US Embassy in Colombo, he observed would be hosting separate pavilions.


The SLMBC will have under its umbrella, Nestle, Kelani Cables, Copyline International, Lankaloha Hardware, Development Interplan Ceylon, Wijaya Products, Kemin Exports, Celcius Solutions, Unilever Food Solutions, Lanka Canneries and Akzo Nobel.


The NCE Pavilion would comprise International Foodstufs Company Agri Bio-Tech, Kandygs Handlooms Sri Lanka, Felicita Trading Maldives, Basilur Tea, Hiddes Extracts, DSI Samson Group, Dankotuwa Porcelain, Abdul Rahims, Osmo and Rainco, he said adding that Magic Corn, Blue Water Systems International, International Hotel and Resorts Supplies and Siddhalepa Exports would be have separate stalls of their own.


The companies under the US Embassy umbrella were Discovery International, 3M Lanka, Spring Air Sri Lanka & Maldives, Dole Lanka, Sadaharitha Agri Farms and Exporters, Nidro Supply and Eastern & Allied Agencies.


Hassan said that around 40 per cent of the entries for the Culinary Challenge were from Sri Lankan born Chefs employed at various Maldivian resorts.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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