Lahore : Three-Day Pakistan Food, Culture and Shopping Festival has started in Colombo, Sri Lanka, today. The event was jointly inaugurated by Sri Lankan Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Sena Rethna and Pakistani High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Syed Shakeel Hussain at Waters Edge Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The Festival, first of its kind in this vibrant city of the island, has been arranged by the Government of Punjab in collaboration with Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Punjab Board of Investment and Trade, Lahore Art Council, Tourism Department and Pakistani High Commission in Sri Lanka.
The mega event is designed in a way that it would be remembered for a long time to come. Pakistan cuisine is also a specialty of the event, as the Colombo has a big majority of eastern food lovers and Pakistani food stuff and its taste is not new to their taste buds. Pakistani instrumentalists are keeping the visitors spell bound and the visitors are seen enjoying every moment.
Renowned Pakistani brands including Stylo Shoes, Masood Textiles, leading manufacturers of hand-knotted carpets, blue pottery manufacturers and metal work and stone carving work are of great attraction. Sri Lankans interest in Pakistani shoe brand is so great that some of the goods were sold even much ahead of the formal inauguration of the event.
Painting and photography exhibition is also a component of this business and cultural festival. The paintings and photographs exhibition of renowned Pakistani painters and photographers including Saeed Akhtar, Ejaz-ul-Hassan, Ejaz Anwar, Zulfiqar Zulfi, Maria Khan, Ammara Khan and miniature artists Bashir Ahmad, Imran Qureshi and Ayesha Khalid and Calligraphers Ahmad Khan and Imran Sultan is a feast for the eyes of the Lankan Art-lovers. Tabla, Violin, Sitar, Saragi, Dhol and flute artists including Ustad Raees, Ustad Latif, Noshad, Sajjad Hussain, Zohaib Hassan etc. have especially flown to Colombo by the Punjab Government to highlight the soft image of the country.
The Sri Lankan Minister while talking to the media on the occasion said that fairs and exhibitions are a proven tool to promote bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries. He said large participation of Sri Lankans in Pakistani event is enough to make the point that the people here are great lover of Pakistani merchandise.
He said that the Sri Lankan government puts Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif in high esteem and ongoing mega event is an ample proof of his inclination towards excellent trade and economic ties between the two countries. He said that he is also thankful to Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Punjab Board of Investment and Trade, Lahore Art Council, Tourism Department and Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka for putting up a great show in Colombo.
Pakistani High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Maj. General Shakeel said that the High Commission is making all out efforts to multiply the volume of two-way trade between the two regional countries. On behalf of Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Additional Secretary Muhammad Shahid Iqbal presented souvenir to honorable Minister while Chief Executive Stylo Group gave away a set of Pakistani merchandise to the Minister.