Canberra, 28 September 1951
Colombo Plan Exhibition
The Minister for External Affairs, the Rt. Hon. R. G. Casey, announced today that Australia would participate in the Colombo Plan Exhibition to be held in Colombo from 15th February, 1952.
The Government of Ceylon proposed at the meeting of the Consultative Committee on South and South East Asia in February, 1951, that a Colombo Plan Exhibition should be held. The final arrangements were then being made for setting in motion the Colombo Plan which is intended, through extensive capital and technical development, to expand production and raise living standards in the countries of South and South East Asia. Other Governments participating in the Colombo Plan agreed with the Government of Ceylon that an exhibition should be arranged to demonstrate the needs of South and South East Asian countries and the contribution being made by Commonwealth and other countries, through provision of capital and technical assistance, to meet these needs.
The exhibition will include a 'National' Section in which Governments participating in the Colombo Plan will have pavilions with distinctive national exhibits. In addition, the Government of Ceylon will present a section demonstrating the Government's activities in relation to the material and social welfare of the community and emphasizing the advantages of a democratic system of government. Beyond these government exhibits, the exhibition will include a trade fair in which commercial firms, from Ceylon and from the other participating countries, will have an opportunity to display their products.
Mr. Casey said that the exhibition was expected to last for four weeks and that the Australian Government was now pressing forward with detailed arrangements for Australian participation. The Department of Commerce and Agriculture, which is working in co-operation with the Department of External Affairs on arrangements for the exhibition will be approaching exporters and manufacturers interested in markets in the region of South and South East Asia and therefore potentially interested in the Trade Fair Section of the exhibition.
[NAA: A4534, 44/13 part 2]