Japan’s second largest industrial region in trade talks with Sri Lanka

26 October 2015 02:35 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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In the backdrop of Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s recent visit to Japan, Sri Lanka received its first-ever trade delegation from Kansai, Japan’s second-largest industrial and financial region featuring 20th largest gross domestic product (GDP) in the world.
“This is the first-ever delegation from Kanzai to Sri Lanka and we are here to obtain in-depth understanding of the state of fast developing Sri Lankan economy. Our region has a strong interest to expand and collaborate with the Lankan business sector,” said Kansai Economic Federation (Kankeiren) Vice Chairman Masayuki Matsushita, during a meeting with Sri Lanka’s Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. 
Matsushita is also the Vice Chairman of Panasonic Corporation Japan. 
Among the members of this pioneering delegation were reps from Japanese multinationals such as Hitachi Zosen, Daikin Industries, Mitsui, Marubeni, National Panasonic, Sumitomo Corp, Kyoei Steel, Nippon Express, Takenaka Corp, Kinki Nippon Tourist, as well as reps from Osaka City Government, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Asia and Oceania Resona Foundation and JICA (Kansai International Centre). The members of the delegation said that they wanted to know about future Lankan investment policy on economic development and sustainability as a South Asian logistics hub so that these information could be forwarded to Japanese industries and companies that are looking to invest across the board here-and specifically in sectors of infrastructure, knowledge economy, manufacturing and services in Sri Lanka.
Kanzai’s 2014 regional GDP stood at US $ 712 billion and if it is taken as a single country, it would rank as the 20th largest economy in the world, standing above Sweden and even Switzerland.
Minister Bathiudeen said Japanese investors were specially welcome to invest in Sri Lanka’s automotive sector. He said that once manufactured, their products could be exported to India and Pakistan using our free trade agreements between the two countries.
The bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Japan stood at US $ 1.17 billion in 2014.
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