The government allocated Rs 2.5 million for the Shilpa 2013 National Exhibition and Trade Fair, Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Ministry Secretary V Sivagnanasothy said.
Under the Economic Development Ministry's Divi Neguma programme, material and technology will be provide for the purpose, he said.
The Ministry Secretary was briefing the press at the Information Department, Narahenpita recently. Plans are drawn to manufacture souvenirs and gift items to be sold, he said.
The government expects 2.5 million tourists to visit the country in 2016 and the ministry is working with relevant institutions under the ministry to complete tourists' requirements, he added.
Institutions working in this regard are the National Crafts Council, National Design Center, Palmyra Development Board and Kithul National Programme, Sivagnanasothy said. About 1,500 craftsmen will present their products at the exhibition. Shilpa 2013 National Exhibition and the Trade Fair will be held on August 15 to 18 at the Srimavo Bandaranaike Exhibition Hall.
About 50,000 visitors are expected which include ministers, government officials, local and foreign customers, and students.
The objectives of the exhibition are to identify talented craftsmen in rural Sri Lanka, to train and guide them to reach international standards and to showcase their talents. A competition will be held to present awards to best products.
The ministry has selected 12 villages to promote the handcrafts sector. It will be a five year development plan, Sivagnanasothy said. National Crafts Council Chairman Buddhi Keerthisena and National Design Center Chairman Marshal Janatha also spoke.