Saudi buyers, sellers invited to trade exhibition in Sri Lanka

Updated 27 September 2013
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Saudi buyers, sellers invited to trade exhibition in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan Embassy has invited buyers and sellers to participate in an exhibition to be held concurrently with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013, scheduled to be held in Colombo from Nov. 13.
Anil Sirimanne, commercial counselor at the Sri Lankan Embassy, told Arab News that the event, which will discuss Sri Lanka’s trade, tourism and investment, will also coincide with the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF), which will also be held in Colombo during the same period.
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent countries and the CHOGM is held every two years to enable leaders of Commonwealth countries to come together to discuss global and Commonwealth-related issues and to decide on collective policies and initiatives.
Running parallel to the CHOGM, “Reflection of Sri Lanka,” an international exhibition on trade, tourism and investment, will be held from Nov. 13 to 17 in Colombo, in which numerous private and public sector agencies will be participating.
More than 300 leading exporters of various sectors from Sri Lanka and foreign machinery and technology suppliers will showcase their products and services.
It will be held at the Folk Art Center (Janakala Kendraya) in Battaramulla, a suburb in the capital, Colombo.
“The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Riyadh would like to invite you to participate in this exhibition to develop economic relations with Sri Lankan partners. You can register as a buyer or an exhibitor at the exhibition,” Sirimanne said, adding that attractive travel packages will be offered to participants by the sponsors of the event.
“Sri Lanka is privileged to hold this summit this year. This is the first time an Asian country hosts such an event in 24 years. This prestigious event presents Sri Lanka with a valuable opportunity to promote and reposition Sri Lanka as a strategically important economic center of the world.”
The exhibitors are expected to maintain the highest quality and international standards in displaying their products.
The diplomat said the trade exhibition will be a great opportunity for leading exporters and potential exporters to present their capabilities to the heads of Commonwealth States, high-powered delegations, business leaders and other foreign buyers, which will pave the way to further pursue their business in the global market.
The exposition on trade, tourism and investment will be organized by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and Sri Lanka Tourism and Board of Investment (BOI) in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) and in association with other government agencies to showcase Sri Lanka’s export portfolio at its best.
The exposition includes product displays, networking sessions, seminars and industry visits. Foreign exhibitors will present state-of-the-art equipment and technology.
Promotional packages include a 25-percent discount on airfare to and from Colombo, gratis visa, internal transport, including airport pick up free of charge and concessions for hotel charges.


Saudi woman aims to support the blind through ‘Walking Friendship’

Updated 39 min 17 sec ago
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Saudi woman aims to support the blind through ‘Walking Friendship’

JEDDAH: Seven years ago Sawsan Abdullah underwent brain surgery which resulted in partial blindness, weakness in the right side of her body and partial memory loss.
“After surgery to remove a cyst, I started a new life with a blank slate,” she said. “I had difficulty speaking and understanding, difficulty in walking and even smiling.”
She was a medical laboratory specialist who had practiced karate.
“I was working in the emergency room. All of a sudden, samples used to slip from my right hand. I couldn’t walk and I went into a coma,” said Abdullah, 33.
Her determination to recover led her to where she is now.
“It was a long journey with physical therapy, and I became a motivator for community sports with the Saudi General Sports Authority (GSA). I walk, and practice Tai chi,” she told Arab News.
“I don’t practice karate anymore. Tai chi is a calm, slow sport that helped me to regain my balance.”
Her project, Walking Friendship, includes walking and running activities for the blind and visually impaired.
“Blind people in our group walk with a sighted volunteer at the right time and place, and they create friendships and exchange experiences. It can be done individually or in a group,” she said.
Abdullah said her project has been warmly welcomed by everyone who has heard about it.
“I hope it reaches all blind and visually impaired people. I have had heartwarming responses from everyone, and most importantly from my blind and visually impaired friends,” she said.
“The project is being put into effect currently in Jeddah as I am based here. It is very important for me to expand my reach to all blind and visually impaired people who want to walk. There are friends outside Jeddah who really liked the idea, so I must start.”
The project began when Abdullah attended a gathering at the Ebsar Foundation, a rehabilitation center for the visually impaired.
“A year ago, I did not know many blind or visually impaired people. At the Ebsar Foundation they were very welcoming, as I was personally approaching the blind and visually impaired in the audience to explain the idea to them and get their contact information,” she said.

 

 The group officially started in January with women, then men joined too. It currently has 80 members.
Abdullah would like to see her project grow and receive support from the GSA.
“We want an official permit to practice walking/running with our blind and visually impaired friends in Jeddah,” she said. “We want support from the GSA so that this team will be under their umbrella; and from this, we will come out with athletes who will represent Saudi Arabia in para-athletics.
“Transportation for my blind and visually impaired friends is personally covered. We would like support in transportation so that this activity continues to grow.”
Volunteers receive full instruction before beginning the walks. “They are given explanatory pictures of walking with the blind and the visually impaired,” said Abdullah. “During the walk, the blind or visually impaired person notes a few things to the volunteer. I take these notes in general, and I send these notes to the volunteers after the walk.”
Abdullah says she wants to see more activities offered for this group in society. “One-on-one sessions facilitate a connection between the blind participant and the coach or club, just like we did in the karate sessions and bicycling. My goal is to have sports clubs accepting the blind and visually impaired,” she added.

Decoder

PARA-ATHLETICS

A classification in sports that determines suitable sports for athletes with physical, visual and intellectual disabilities.