ECONOMYNEXT – Japan and Sri Lanka are to upgrade their bilateral ties to the level of a “comprehensive partnership” covering political, economic and security issues, visiting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
“My visit to Japan is mainly to discuss the declaration of a comprehensive partnership between our two countries,” he said in an address to parliamentarians in Japan in Tokyo on Tuesday.
“I believe this will be a framework for collaboration in the following spheres– political, economic, technological, cultural and security.
“The comprehensive partnership will delineate our co-operation in these important areas,” Wickremesinghe said.
A statement said Japan and Sri Lanka are to hold an "Economic Policy Dialogue" at senior officials' level in the first half of 2016 to consider concrete leasures to enhance economic co-operation.
Wickremesinghe also suggested Japan get more involved in Sri Lanka and the rest of South Asia to make it a “high growth” region as growth had fallen and is expected to remain low in other areas.
“I’m advocating that we in South Asia respond to this predicted low growth scenario by creating a high growth South Asian region,” he said.
“The new national government in Sri Lanka is providing stability for economic restructuring which is expected to lead to a higher rate of growth,” Wickremesinghe said.
“We look to Japan to take the lead in the economic transformation of Sri Lanka and South Asia to create a South Asian high growth area enabling the region to fulfil its economic potential and bring higher living standards to the people.”
Wickremesinghe proposed that the collaboration aims to use Japanese science and technology to overcome economic challenges to development.
“I would like to invite direct Japanese private investment in all sectors.” (Colombo/October 07 2015)