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Industry Minister calls for further Japanese investments

26 November 2012 03:16 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


As Lanka-Japan bilateral trade has crossed the huge $ 1.2 bn mark in 2011, the country is inviting top league Japanese private investments for ‘strong win-win partnerships’.

“As our bilateral trade grows with $ 1.2 billion trade and historic relations are further strengthened, I invite you, the prospective and high level Japanese investors to invest in Sri Lanka for win-win partnerships and also to gain immediate access to the South Asia’s huge market through us,” said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen addressing a visiting high level business and investment fact finding mission –cum- delegation from Japan recently.

It is one of the biggest missions from Japan to arrive in Sri Lanka, represented by key sectors as agro, engineering, construction, electronics and industrial equipment, among others. The delegation was facilitated by JETRO Colombo. JETRO officials and reps from Sri Lankan business and corporate sectors were also present during the event. The 30 member strong top tier Japanese investment delegation successfully concluded its Sri Lanka mission and departed the island on November23.

Japan was Sri Lanka’s second largest international donor in 2011. According to the Department of Commerce, Sri Lanka–Japan bilateral trade volumes which stood at $ 753.19 million in 2010 rose by 65% to $ 1,249.03 Mn by 2011. Meanwhile, the UNCTAD reported on suddenly increasing Japanese FDI outflows to the world –Japanese ODIs doubled (increased almost by 105.5%) in 2011 to $ 115.6 Bn (from 2010’s$56.3Bn).

 “The total bilateral trade turnover between Sri Lanka and Japan now stands at $ 1,249 Mn. Japan has always been a key trading partner as well as a generous donor nation to Sri Lanka. Today, I am pleased to reveal some of the newest investment opportunities in Sri Lanka for you. That is in addition to apparel, IT/BPO services and outsourcing, agriculture, shipping, and logistics, such specific new avenues as motor vehicle assembly, warehousing, deep sea fishing, construction of cold stores, such as call-centres, urban commercial and leisure property development, agro processing and agro technology, marina and marina related commercial property development, fish canning and processing factories, fresh vegetables and fruit exports, tourist transportation and tourist leisure activities could be identified as promising sectors. I invite you for win-win investment partnerships and thereby to gain immediate access to the South Asia’s huge markets through us,” revealed Minister Bathiudeen.

Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka who graciously hosted the event, addressing gathering, said: “Sri Lanka has a great potential to be an international business hub and for future economic development with its geographically strategic location, skillful and educated labour. Having FTAs with India and Pakistan, Sri Lanka can be a gateway to the huge South Asian markets. However, it is also true that Sri Lanka is exposed to global competition. Much more needs to be done to induce foreign investments.”

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