Japanese business team scouts for investments in Sri Lanka
ECONOMYNEXT – A top Japanese business delegation, including executives from the largest and best known companies like Honda and Mitsubishi, is visiting Sri Lanka to scout for investment opportunities, the Board of Investment said.
The delegation of 59 chairmen, chief executive officers and leading officials of some of the most important Japanese companies is led by Akio Mimura, Senior Advisor, honorary chairman of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, a statement said.
The team is visiting Sri Lanka on a special invitation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and participated at the Sri Lanka-Japan Economic Forum organized by the BOI Wednesday.
“The event is of great significant as this is the first time in recent years that a Japanese business delegation consisting of companies of this significance has come to the country to evaluate opportunities for investment and trade,” the BOI said.
“It is also a reflection of the growing confidence that the international investor community holds for Sri Lanka as well as its appreciation of the efforts made by the country to improve its business and investment environment.”
The delegation represented a wide cross section of the Japanese economy from sectors including heavy industry, automobile, airline, banking, infrastructure, services, energy and machinery.
Japanese investments have had a significant presence in the country for several decades and are an integral part of national economy of Sri Lanka, the BOI said.
The statement quoted Akio Mimura as saying the visit had enabled Japanese business leaders to “rediscover” the country.
“I also note the high GDP per capita by the standard of South Asia. Also important are the Free Trade Agreements with other countries,” he said.
“There is great potential in Sri Lanka and a need to create more awareness in Japan about this country. Fortunately, the Japan Chamber of Commerce is a huge organization.”
The BOI said the forum was of considerable importance since Sri Lanka’s economy is increasingly integrated to the growth taking place the Asian region.
“Japan has traditionally been a very close partner of Sri Lanka with known establishments such as Tokyo Cement, Colombo Dockyard Public Ltd and Noritake Porcelain Pvt Ltd.,” it said.
Sri Lanka and Japan have signed investment protection and avoidance of double taxation agreements.
Business relations are further facilitated by the presence of two Japanese banks, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho Bank, having signed MOUs with the BOI to co-operate on promoting Sri Lanka to Japanese entrepreneurs, the BOI said.
“The visit to Sri Lanka of these leading Japanese enterprises augurs well and will strengthen Japanese investments in the island in the future while at the same time reflecting the growing investor confidence internationally for Sri Lanka.”
The delegation included officials from Honda Motor Co., Mitsui & Co. Ltd, Japan Airlines, ITOCHU Corporation, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd, Sojitz Corporation, Mitsui & Co (Asia Pacific) Pte Ltd, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries India Private Ltd, Marubeni Corporation, Marubeni India Private Limited, Komatsu Store., Co. Ltd, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.
(COLOMBO, February 07, 2018)