An Echelon Media Company
Sunday September 24th, 2023

Sri Lanka president invites more Japanese investments as economy stabilises

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe who is on an official visit to Japan has called for bilateral collaboration highlighting emerging opportunities in Sri Lanka that Japanese businesses could leverage as the island nation restores stability.

In a roundtable discussion in Tokyo on Thursday May 26, Wickremesinghe had spoken of Sri Lanka’s commitment to stabilising and liberalising the economy while actively inviting new foreign ventures. At a separate event, he had also called for increased cooperation between Sri Lanka and Japan in the two countries’ respective digital transformation efforts.

The Sri Lankan president, since his appointment in July 2022, has indicated an eagerness to repair damaged relations with Tokyo after his predecessor’s administration unilaterally cancelled a 1.5 billion US dollar Japan-funded light rail transit (project) and a tripartite deal between Japan, Sri Lanka and India to develop the Colombo Port’s East Container Terminal (ECT).

In a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo on Thursday May 25, Wickremesinghe had extended an apology for the cancellation of the LRT project and discussed legislation to make sure that large-scale bilateral projects cannot be cancelled without mutual agreement.


Sri Lanka president apologises to Japan for cancellation of light rail project


According to a statement from the president’s office, Thursday’s business rountable on ‘Sri Lanka’s Economic Revival & Opportunities for Japanese Enterprise’  was organised jointly by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Japan-Sri Lanka Business Co-Operation and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Japan.

The statement said Wickremesinghe had outlined his administration’s ongoing efforts to restore stability and open the economy, fostering an inviting climate for foreign investment. He had also discussed various measures and reforms being implemented to create a conducive business environment for potential investors.

The president had emphasised the mutual benefits that can be derived from increased collaboration between the two countries. Sri Lanka’s strategic location and skilled workforce were highlighted as key advantages, providing a gateway for Japanese companies to expand their operations in the region and leverage the country’s emerging economic opportunities.

The president had also attended a separate meeting with the Japan-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Association, the statement said, as well as a meeting with Japan’s Minister of Digitisation Taro Kono where Wickremesinghe had presented a “comprehensive overview of Sri Lanka’s programme to advance towards a digital economy.” The importance of enhancing cooperation between Japan and Sri Lanka in their respective digital transformation endeavours was discussed, the president’s office said. (Colombo/May27/2023)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sri Lanka India industrial zone around Trinco, maritime links mooted

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ports Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva had highlighted the desire of both the Governments to work closely to develop the industrial zone at Trincomalee, after accepting an invitation to participate in a maritime summit.

The Global Maritime India Summit (GMIS) will be held in India from October 17-19, 2023 at Mumbai where Sri Lanka has been invited at a partner country.

At a curtain raiser event on September 22, India’s High Commissioner in Colombo, Gopal Baglay had said both countries were working on enhancing sea connectivity according to a vision document launched during a recent visit of the President of Sri Lanka to India.

Minister de Silva will lead a delegation from Sri Lanka to the summit.

Secretary to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Government of India, T K Ramachandran said the Global Maritime India Summit aims strengthen the Indian maritime economy by promoting global and regional partnerships and facilitating investments.

The event will give an opportunity to the Government of Sri Lanka to attracting greater investment from India in development of its maritime infrastructure, Ramachandran said.

It will also facilitate greater business to business interactions. (Colombo/Sept24/2023)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka brings back import para tariff on milk

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has brought back an import para tariff called the Ports and Airports Levy, to several grades of milk powder.

Milk powder has been removed from a list of PAL exemptions, making them liable for a 10 percent tax.

The PAL para tariffs are also a contentious issue in terms of export competitiveness, and the government has previously given undertakings that they will be eliminated.

Trade freedoms of the poor figure in an IMF/World bank reform program with the governments.

Milk is a protein rich food, in a country where children of poor families are facing stunting and malnutrition.

Economic nationalism is seen at high levels in food, with several businessmen are pushing for trade protection, amid an overall autarkist (self-sufficiency) ideology, going directly against policies followed in East Asia, which the same as hold up as examples.

Sri Lanka keeps dairy product prices up ostensibly to bring profits to a domestic dairy company and farmers.

Sri Lanka also keeps maize prices up, ostensibly to give profits to farmers and collectors. (Colombo/Sept22/2023)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka govt warns liquor manufacturers: pay defaulted tax or lose licence

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka government which is struggling to raise the state revenue despite   higher taxes, has warned liquor manufacturers to pay defaulted taxes or lose their licence.

The government is now getting tough with past tax defaulters amid concerns over falling short of this year’s revenue target agreed with the International Monetary Fun (IMF).

“Liquor manufacturing firms owe us 660 crore rupees (6.6 billion rupees),” Siyambalapitiya told  reporters on Thursday (21).

“Most of this or around a third is the only excise tax amount to be paid. The rest is penalty. If a liquor manufacturer does not pay on time, we impose a penalty of 3 percent per month This means 36 percent (penalty) per annum,” he said.

“We have given them deadline to repay the basic excise taxes. If they don’t pay, we will cancel their licence.”

President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government committed an ambitious revenue target among many other reforms to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in return to a $3 billion loan package.

However, the revenue could face a short fall of 100 billion rupees, State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya has said.

A new Central Bank Act also has legally prevented the government of printing money at its discretion as  in the past.  (Colombo/September 24/2023)

Continue Reading