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 Ruwan Nashiki, CEO of the Colombo International Airport Hotel project. Eng. Raja Edirisuriya Chairman BOI, Renuka Weerakoon, Director-General BOI and others participated in the meeting with the purpose of looking at areas for greater cooperation in investment.
The delegation of entrepreneurs from “Japan-Sri Lanka Friendship Association” consists of nearly 300 small and medium scale entrepreneurs. 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. Eng. Raja Edirisuriya, Chairman of BOI described the efforts made by the Sri Lankan Government to build a climate that is investor-friendly for all investors. Though the country is facing 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 advantage of all the challenges the country is currently facing and assist Sri Lanka to overcome the difficulties.
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 had very notable thoughts about Sri Lanka and said that” we love and we believe in Sri Lanka.”
Among the members of the delegation, there were 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.