ECONOMYNEXT – A delegation representing Japanese small and medium enterprises is visiting Sri Lanka scouting for investment opportunities, the investment promotion agency said.
The Board of Investment said the team is “evaluating investment opportunities and opportunities of partnerships between Sri Lankan Small and Medium Enterprises and Japanese SMEs.”
The visiting delegation consists of representatives of 19 Japanese enterprises who will act as consultants and disseminate information on the investment potential in Sri Lanka to Japanese SMEs, a statement said.
The members of the World Business Society of Tokyo Small and Medium Enterprise Consultant Association is on a one week fact finding mission.
The BOI said the Japanese firms were keen that Sri Lanka as an economy had maintained high levels of growth after the ethnic conflict ended in 2009 and it was now a middle-income nation.
“Other factors which are of interest to the Japanese delegation are the healthy services sector and the commitment on the part of authorities to stimulate higher value production, while taking into consideration the lessons learned from other Asian nations,” it said.
Japan is already a major partner of Sri Lanka, having participated significantly in developing the country’s airport, railways, power supply, water and sewerage sectors.
“Japan is also interested in Sri Lanka’s knowledge industry and examining options for investment,” the BOI said.
“A central point of interest to Japanese enterprises is Sri Lanka’s geo political importance, notably the close proximity to the Indian subcontinent, and the potential of serving as a base to emerging trade between Africa and South East Asia.”
As a country with a large English speaking population, Sri Lanka is well placed to act as a staging point to connect South Asia with East Asia, notably China, a factor which makes the island an attractive destination for future Japanese investments, it said.
(COLOMBO, Nov 02, 2016)