“Land of the Rising Sun now our seventh trade partner”: Rishad to Japan Times

Thursday, 21 June 2012 02:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

As Sri Lanka-Japan bilateral discourse completes 60 memorable events, Japan has become our seventh largest international trade partner.

“The total bilateral trade turnover between the two nations has grown to $ 1,250 m in 2011. Japan, our seventh largest trade partner in 2011, has always been a key trading nation as well as a generous donor to us for which we extend our sincere appreciation,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen.

Minister Bathiudeen was briefing Filip Rideau and Anita Matic on 15 June in Colombo. Rideau and Matic are currently in Colombo compiling a special supplement on Sri Lanka’s economic resurgence for Tokyo-based Japan Times, the oldest and highest selling English language newspaper published in Japan.

“As we celebrate 60 years of friendly Sri Lanka-Japan relations, we remember of the multitude of Japanese assistance extended to Sri Lanka with warm gratitude, amongst them were granting of the first islandwide TV network Rupavahini, the strengthening of Sri Lanka Telecom, grant of Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital and grant aid to develop various road networks, enhance education and academic scholarships. Such assistance has been a solid pillar of generous Japanese assistance to Sri Lanka.

“Our strategic location as a hub in the Indian Ocean to West Asia, South Asia and SE Asia, positioning of economic goal as the economic hub of Asia, strong, skilled human resources, wide use of English language, friendly population, foreign investment friendly open economy and generally stable socio-political climate are promising aspects for Japanese investors here,” Minister Bathiudeen said.

Commenting on existing Japanese firms in Sri Lanka, Minister Bathiudeen said: “Since 1996, a number of large multinational conglomerates including NTT, Mitsui Group, Kawasho Corporation and YKK have committed substantial investments in large infrastructure and manufacturing projects. At the same time, existing Japanese enterprises in ceramics, Noritake Lanka Porcelain, Dankotuwa Porcelain (International Ceramics Corporation of Japan) and Dainichi Creations and FDK Lanka Ltd. (Fuji Electro Chemical) in electronics have expanded their investment in Sri Lanka.”