Comments /535 Views / Wednesday, 23 November 2016 00:32
From left: Saman Kumara, Ruwan Waidyaratne, Mahen Dayananda, Tilak de Zoysa, Daya Weththasinghe, Japanese Ambassador Kenichi Suganuma, Sarath de Costa, Julianne Boulton, Dayasiri Warnakulasooriya, Tissa Jayaweera, Merrick Gooneratne and Mahen Kariyawasan
The President of the Sri Lanka-Japan Business Co-operation Committee (SLJBCC) said that the close economic links between Sri Lanka and Japan had expanded beyond trade and tourism, requiring both nations to work together as “partners in progress”.
“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 progress. Our two countries can strategically cooperate in areas such as bilateral trade, tourism and economic partnerships,” said Daya Weththasinghe, President of SLJBCC, which is part of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, at the group’s recent Annual General Meeting.
Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Kenichi Suganuma graced the occasion as its Chief Guest.
The committee elected for the period 2016-2017 was President - Daya Weththasinghe, Chairman, Globe Group of Companies; Advisors - Deshabandu Tilak de Zoysa, Chairman, AMW Capital Leasing and Finance Plc and Deshamanya P.D. Rodrigo; Vice Presidents - Mahen Dayananda, Chairman, Indo Asia Teas Ltd., Tissa Jayaweera, Chairman/CEO, Advanced International Management Services Ltd., C.S.W. de Costa, Managing Director, Amano Lanka Engineering Ltd., Dayasiri Warnakulasooriya, Chairman/Managing Director, Midaya Ceramic Company Ltd. and Merrik Gooneratne, Executive Director, TOS Lanka Ltd; Committee Members - Dinesh Saparamadu, Chief Executive Officer, hSenid Software International Ltd., Ruwan Waidyaratne, Managing Director, Hayleys Advantis Ltd., Mahen Kariyawasan, Managing Director, Andrew the Travel Company and Julianne Boulton, Secretariat of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
Addressing the gathering, the re-elected President Weththasinghe stated: “Trade between our two countries has increased rapidly during last couple of years. A free trade agreement 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 will be an important partner in this endeavour.”
With 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 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 SLJBCC Vice President Sarath de Costa, 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 and 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) set up by the Japan Chamber of Commerce and 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.
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