IIFA to help Sri Lanka build brand internationally

COLOMBO: Bollywood is not just limited to India anymore. It is now an international extravaganza!

For instance, ask any Sri Lankan who their favourite actors are (without naming the industry you are referring to) and they almost jump off their seats to say "of course Amitabh Bachchan." It is almost unanimous. Shah Rukh Khan is, no doubt, the heartthrob of the pearl island while just a tiny mention of Aamir‘s name can bring a glee on their Bollywood-bright face.

The government of this isle knows this truth well and therefore, through IIFA, expects to garner massive international coverage, showcasing the country as the destination of choice for business enterprise and tourism.

“IIFA will do a lot of good to brand Sri Lanka. India is an extremely important market for us as almost 20 per cent of our tourists come from this land. Also, as Bollywood films are always on the lookout for new locales to shoot, Sri Lanka could become the next stop for various film shoots. Additionally, Bollywood is no more an Indian affair and neither is IIFA. The event will be showcased to at least 600 million viewers and will give us an opportunity to put brand Sri Lanka before the rest of the world,” said Sri Lankan minister of economic development Basil Rajapaksa. 

IIFA will also initiate engagement and discussion with the Sri Lanka Tourism for various projects, with a special focus on the north and east regions of the island.

Speaking on the way forward and growing importance of the Sri Lanka-India partnership, Wizcraft International director Sabbas Joseph said, “Our work with the Unicef, Habitat for Humanity and the discussions at the FICCI IIFA Global Business Forum, will bring focus to the development and reconciliation process in Sri Lanka. With the glamour quotient being at an all time high we are delighted that all roads lead to Colombo, as IIFA puts on a grand three day show in the heart of Sri Lanka. ”

Meanwhile, the FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum presented by ERI (Environmental Resources Investment PLC) on 4 June will be inaugurated by the President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa and will be addressed by respected personalities from the world of business, entertainment and cricket from India and Sri Lanka.

The speakers list include likes of Basil Rajapaksa; Sri Lanka Central Bank governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal; Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Ashok K Kantha; Indian MP and former MoS External Affairs Shashi Tharoor; The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group chairperson Jyotsna Suri; Steria Ltd India CEO Mukesh Aghi; Micromax Mobile business director Vikas Jain and film producer Karan Johar will discuss the building of economic partnerships between India and Sri Lanka, investing and rebuilding the new North – East Sri Lanka and the future of ‘cricketainment’.

The event is co-sponsored by BOI and Green Lanka Shipping, while Hilton Colombo is the hospitality partner.

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