Keeping in line with the Economic Policy of the new Government, Sri Lanka offers a conducive, safe and stable environment to attract investment. This is, therefore, a high time for Japanese entrepreneurs to look at Sri Lanka, not only as an attractive business destination but also as a gateway to the entire South Asian region, Special Assignments Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said.
Speaking at the Japanese National Day celebration on behalf of President Maithripala Sirisena and the government, held at the Japanese Ambassador’s Residence, Minister Amunugama said the close relations between Sri Lanka and Japan are built on a solid foundation of historical, religious and cultural ties, shared values and mutual understanding.
The visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Sri Lanka in September last year and the visit Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to Japan in October this year have given an encouraging impetus and provided a valuable roadmap to elevate the existing relations into new heights. The joint declaration which was issued following the bilateral meeting between the Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime minister Abe on a comprehensive partnership between Sri Lanka and Japan is a blueprint for this new roadmap, he said.
”Today, Sri Lanka’s robust economic growth and development policy provide enormous potential for further enhancement of economic relations between our two countries, especially in trade, investment and tourism. Sri Lanka’s total trade turnover with Japan has shown a threefold increase during the period of 2009-2014,” Minister Amunugama stressed.
Under the framework of the Memorandum of Cooperation on Vitalization of Inter-Governmental Economic Policy Dialogue signed between the two countries during the visit of Prime Minster Abe in September last year, with a view to further expanding our bilateral trade, investment and economic engagement, we look forward to the convening of the first intergovernmental Economic Policy Dialogue between the two countries, he added.
“The goodwill and generosity of Japan demonstrated over the years in the form of Official Development Assistance (ODA) has contributed significantly to the enhancement and advancement of Sri Lanka’s economic and social landscape,” he emphasized.
“We are also deeply appreciative of the assistance extended by Japan in the peace and reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, in the context of post-conflict development. In this regard, we also appreciate the visit of Dr. Motoo Noguchi, Prosecutor of Japan and former international Judge of the Khmer Rouge Trials,” he added.
“The presidential election in January and the General Elections in August 2015 marked two historic moments in Sri Lanka’s political experience. Today, there is widespread recognition of the need to consolidate the hard won peace, and to ensure meaningful reconciliation by building an inclusive society, enabling people to live with self-respect and dignity. We look forward to Japan’s consistent support, in our efforts to create a promising environment for genuine partnership with the international community. I am confident that the relations between our two countries will continue to flourish in the years ahead, building upon the strong foundation of friendship”, he said.