Sri Lanka can attract Japanese companies, bank: ambassador

Sept 17, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has great potential to attract Japanese investors who are interested in investing in the island, and as a gateway to India and Pakistan, Kenichi Suganuma, the ambassador for Japan in Sri Lanka, said.

Although India is a big market it is not easy to do big business there, he added during a meeting with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce led Sri Lanka–Japan Business Co-operation Committee (SLJBCC).

ASEAN is saturated and Japanese companies are looking at Sri Lanka as gateway to Asia, Suganuma said.

Commenting on the possibility of a Japanese bank branch in Sri Lanka, Suganuma said discussion with Central Bank has centered on what steps would be necessary to create an environment conductive for setting up representatives offices.

A Japanese bank would take care of the banking needs of Japanese enterprises and would also be important for promoting investment from Japan.

ICT and electronic component manufacturing are promising sectors to promote between Sri Lanka and Japan and establish joint ventures, SLJBCC said. The Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) Colombo is now studying the value chain opportunities available in Sri Lanka.

A business delegation is due to visit Sri Lanka in end October 2015 organized by the Kansai Economic Federation (KEF – KANKEIREN). The Sri Lanka – Japan Business Co-operation Committee in association with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will be organizing a business networking session for the visiting delegates with potential local companies.

The SLJBCC is the first bi-lateral business council to be set up by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and its membership to date is 98. Since the inauguration of the SLJBCC, 18 joint meetings have been held in Sri Lanka and Japan, the most recent in Tokyo, Japan in June, 2014.