Jul 24, 2018 (LBO) - Sri Lanka together with Japan Sri Lanka Comprehensive Partnership secretariat and T-PLAN has built an electric three-wheeler. "I am indeed encouraged by the electric three-wheeler developed by Japan Sri Lanka Comprehensive Partnership secretariat and T-PLAN," Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Finance said. "It is considered to have incorporated some of the cutting-edge technology available in this industry. I understand that the first batch of electric three wheelers manufactured in Sri Lanka will be ready by mid-2020." T-PLAN hopes to export the Sri Lankan made electric vehicles to Japan. This would be the first of many technology transfer projects that are currently being incubated by the Japan Sri Lanka Comprehensive Partnership secretariat. With more than one million three-wheeler drivers in Sri Lanka, the three-wheeler industry is indeed a major sector of the country and is an affordable means of transport for small business, providing last mile connectivity for SMEs and entrepreneurs while also being the means of affordable private transportation as well, and is increasingly popular in the tourism industry. The vehicle policy in the 2018 budget too was designed to incentivise to move to a greener fleet of vehicles. There are several reasons for the shift from the fossil fuel tuk to the electric version, and environmental concerns are chief amongst them, the minister said. "As part of the Paris agreement,Sri Lanka has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent in the transport sector by 2020," "Among the host of recommendations, one way to achieve this reduction is to convert the existing vehicles to ‘zero-emission’ vehicles, which would cause minimum levels of pollution and carbon footprint." Under the Enterprise Sri Lanka credit schemes, the Ministry of Finance will incorporate a subsidised loan scheme to enable three-wheeler drivers to invest in a multitude of additional services including meters, WIFI, GPS facilities, that would act as value-added services that are already provided to consumers; both domestic and tourists. The Minister stressed that through such policies and projects, the government of Sri Lanka will not only show continued commitment to the empowerment of the three-wheeler industry, but also to achieving long term economic growth through sustainable development.