A Japanese business delegation consisting of 28 leading Companies visited Sri Lanka with the purpose of gaining a firsthand experience of the business and investment climate of Sri Lanka. The delegation consisted of representatives of leading Japanese enterprises and other companies such as Leopalace 21, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mizuho Bank, NTT Data, Mitsui & Co. India Pvt Ltd, JGC Musashi Industry Inc., Energy & Technology, Nippon Express, KPMG, Eikei Corporation, NEDO, as well as officials from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry (METI) and the Japanese Embassy in Sri Lanka.
The delegation also wished to meet the BOI to gain a better understanding of the role of the BOI in the process of approving and facilitating Foreign Direct Investment into Sri Lanka.The BOI was represented by Mrs. Renuka Weerakone Executive Director (Investment & Promotion), Mr. Dilip S Samarasinghe Director (Media & Publicity) and Ms Nilupul De Silva Director (Promotion).
In addition MrTadayuki Seiki, Chairman Japan-Sri Lanka Business Co-operation Committee and Senior Advisor to Itchu Corporation,the leader of the delegation said that the mission which consisted of 28 leading Japanese companies had visited India and decided to extend their visit to Sri Lanka. In that regard they were supporting the initiative between BOI and Japanese enterprises alreadyoperating in Sri Lanka. BOI has a strong connection with Japanese enterprises and holds regularly fora to address issues which existing Japanese investors may have in the country.
On 2nd of March 2016 one such forum was held in Sri Lanka and was chaired by Chairman of BOI Mr. Upul Jayasuriya assisted by Mr. Duminda Ariyasinghe, Director General and senior BOI officials as well as officials of other important line agencies.
Hence the Japanese leader also stated that business co-operation between Sri Lanka and Japan had been consisteablystrengthened and wished to see this trend continue in the future. BOI officials present briefed Japanese delegation on the Board’s role in facilitating investment and also its management of Export Processing Zones.
In addition the Japanese side was briefed on issues such as land ownership for foreign enterprises and made aware of the BOI’s newly established One Stop Shop. Furthermore, there are many opportunities for Japanese Companies to invest in Sri Lanka with the start of the Megapolis project where about US$40 billion worth of projects will be available to potential investors seeking to start their projects in the Western Province. In that regard some feasibility studies had already been initiated by JICA.
Sri Lanka’s present and future Free Trade Agreements are yet another opportunity that Japanese Companies can utilize in the future. Japanese Companies investing Sri Lanka can through the Free Trade Agreements that Sri Lanka enjoys, export over 4000 products to India and to Pakistan duty free with 35% value added.
In the future Sri Lanka is likely to enter into Free Trade Agreements with China and possibly Singapore making the country extremely well integrated into the Asian economic region. Currently there are over 85 Japanese Investments in Sri Lanka which operate under the BOI.
Another important factor that needs to be taken into consideration is the establishment of aliaison office by Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi. BOI also has an agreement with Mizuho Bank which is another leading banking group from Japan. The establishment of Japanese banks in Sri Lanka will greatly encourage and facilitate trade and investment between two countries.
The visiting Japanese companies expressed interest in a number of key sector such as aquaculture, Real Estate development, energy, electronics and automobile components and other important economic sectors. (Media Release)