“Japan is one of Sri Lanka’s closest friends with a relationship that has prevailed for centuries and has stood the test of time amidst changing international and domestic political circumstances. In recent years Sri Lanka’s economic partnership with Japan has developed extending beyond trade and tourism. What needs to be done now is to take persistent efforts to market both our nations together as ‘partners in progresses’. Our two countries can strategically co-operate in areas such as Bilateral Trade, Tourism and Economic Partnerships” said Daya Weththasinghe, President of the Sri Lanka – Japan Business Co-operation Committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce at the Annual General Meeting of the SLJBCC held recently.
Addressing the gathering, the re-elected President, Daya Weththasinghe stated “that Trade between our two countries have increased rapidly during last couple of years. A Free Trade Agreement between will open up the vast Japanese market to Sri Lankan exporters. Sri Lanka is now gearing itself to leap forward in economic integration with the rest of the world and Japan would be an important partner in this endeavour.
The implementation of projects such as the Western Region Mega Polis and the Colombo Port City Project, the Government is likely to adopt policies to encourage large scale foreign investment and ensure that international financial firms can operate on an equal footing with domestic firms. The creation of such mega projects will attract international financial giants to establish their regional headquarters in Sri Lanka. The wider base of investors and the presence of a large number of world renowned financial institutions will naturally lead to Sri Lanka becoming the regional hub and the natural “gateway” for investment in other countries in the region.
This year, the Sri Lanka – Japan Business Co-operation Committee initiated a project to facilitate Business Partnerships between Sri Lanka and Japan and has accordingly appointed Mr. Sarath de Costa, Vice President of the SLJBCC and also the former Consul General for Sri Lanka in Osaka as the representative to lead this initiative of identifying potential business partners from Japan including Small & Medium Enterprises, according to the requirement of Sri Lankan Companies”.
The Sri Lanka – Japan Business Co-operation Committee (SLJBCC) was set up in 1979 by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce following a Memorandum of Understanding with the Japan – Sri Lanka Business Co-operation Committee (JSLBCC) setup by the Japan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (JCCI). Since then, 19 joint meetings have been held in Sri Lanka and Japan, the most recent in Sri Lanka in June 2015. The SLJBCC is the first bilateral business council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The main objective of SLJBCC is to promote trade, tourism and investment from Japan to Sri Lanka.