The long-standing bond and the trust among the Japanese investors and Sri Lankan employees and their management lead to a visit of a Japanese delegation to the country recently. The Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka hosted the Japanese delegation headed by Mr Ruwan Nashiki CEO from Colombo International Airport Hotel project. Eng. Raja Edirisuriya Chairman BOI, Mrs Renuka Weerakoon, Director General BOI, Mr Prasanjith Wijethilaka Executive Director, Investment Promotion and Mr. Upali Senarath Executive Director Project Implementation participated in the meeting with the purpose of looking at areas for greater cooperation in investment. The delegation comprised of entrepreneurs from “Japan-Sri Lanka Friendship Association” which consists of nearly 300 small and medium scale entrepreneurs. Amongst the 5 member delegation, there were participants who are engaged in media, manufacturing, clinical nutrition, tourism and insurance.
At present, about 80 enterprises with Japanese investment are in operation under the purview of the BOI (section 17 and Section 16 of the BOI Law). They have made their investment in the fields such as manufacturing semiconductors, printed circuit boards, safety sensors, ceramic items, cement, apparel, building and repairing ships, fabrication and installation of integrated buildings, power sector, tourism sector, infrastructure and logistics. Currently, they have invested about US$ 399 million (Cumulative 2020), providing about 12,000 employment opportunities for the Sri Lankan community. The long-standing good relationship between Sri Lanka and Japan built up over the years as well as the high drive of work ethics of the workers and Sri Lanka’s continued business operation despite turbulent times, has given this delegation confidence to explore possibilities of investing in Sri Lanka .
While welcoming the visiting delegation Eng. Raja Edirisuriya, Chairman BOI spoke of the long-standing bilateral relations between SL and Japan. This year 2022 we marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the two countries. He further described the efforts made by the Sri Lankan Government to build a climate which is investor-friendly for all investors. Though the country is facing an economic turmoil he emphasized that Sri Lanka will rise despite the challenges facing presently. The government is looking for all the best possible causes of action to create a better socio-economic environment in the country. He requested the delegation to visit the Colombo Port City to see the developments that have taken place and invited the delegation to consider investing in the Port City as well as the delegation to take the advantage of all the challenges the country is currently facing and assist Sri Lanka to overcome the difficulties.
Mrs. Renuka Weerakoon DG BOI also briefed the visitors about the upcoming zones for dedicated industries such as IT, Agro, Textile and Pharmaceutical, She explained in detail the advantages of investing in Sri Lanka. And she encouraged the delegation to consider their next investment in Sri Lanka.
The Japanese delegation expressed their views on Sri Lanka. They all were with very impressive thoughts about Sri Lanka and said that” we love and we believe in Sri Lanka.” Among the members of the delegation, there was two media personnel, who were very positive in their views of Sri Lanka and stated that they will record this visit to create a better understanding of Sri Lanka’s potential for investment and tourism among the Japanese public. Their area of interest was mainly in exploring awareness about the key potential sectors in Sri Lanka. One delegate expressed his keen interest in establishing a Pharmaceutical Company in the Pharma zone which is underway.