EDB brings down Inward Buyer Delegation from Japan

Monday, 10 December 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Business forum

The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Japan, brought down an Inward Buyer Delegation from Japan from 3-5 December with the objective of developing business linkages between Sri Lankan companies and Japanese buyers as well as to increase awareness among Sri Lankan exporters on the Japanese market.

EDB Chairperson and Chief Executive Indira Malwatte
Minister (Commercial) of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Japan Samantha Wijesekara

A business forum and Business to Business (B2B) meeting program for the Sri Lankan business community with the Japanese buyer delegation was held on 3 December at the EDB.

EDB Chairman and Chief Executive Indira Malwatte, delivering the opening remarks at the business forum, said that this was an opportunity for Sri Lanka as a buyer delegation had visited Sri Lanka after a lapse of many years and urged the business community to make use of this facility to enter the Japanese market.

She also outlined the facilities available at the EDB to help entrepreneurs enter the international market, modernise or upgrade products and production processes with a view to increase market access by introducing improved value-added products and services.

Leader of the delegation, Minister (Commercial) of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Japan, Samantha Wijesekara, delivered a presentation on ‘Trade Opportunities in Japan’ during the business program, using his experiences in Japan. 

B2B meeting

A presentation was also delivered by a Japanese delegate outlining things from an importer’s perspective for the benefit of Sri Lankan entrepreneurs. He pointed out the important factors to consider when dealing with a Japanese buyer, such as trust, punctuality, quality, capacity and stability in price. The different avenues available to make initial contact with the most appropriate trading partner in Japan were also outlined.

The Japanese delegation comprised AISS Corporation, Charis Seijo Ltd, Eikokuya Ltd, GS Food Ltd, Nakai Shuhan Ltd, Sakura Far East Ltd, Sakurai Foods Ltd., Sugi Pharmacy Ltd, Tanakayo & Co, Ceythe Japan Ltd. from Tokyo and other cities in Japan.

Japan is Sri Lanka’s 13th export destination. The total export value from Sri Lanka to Japan was $ 207 million in 2017 and total imports from Japan to Sri Lanka for the same period were $ 1,038.5 million. In 2017, Sri Lanka’s major exports to Japan were apparel, tea, fisheries products, coir textile fiber products, insulated cables, table and kitchenware. 

In 2017, Sri Lanka’s imports from Japan mainly comprised motor vehicles and transport equipment, electrical and electronic products and products of base metal.

There was immense interest from the Sri Lankan business community for this event and more than 80 companies registered for more than 250 B2Bs. Due to the publicity given at the regional level, a few entrepreneurs from Jaffna also attended the B2Bs. 

The Japanese delegation was interested to meet the Sri Lankan business community, mainly engaging in product sectors namely apparel, handloom products, spices and concentrates, tea, organic products, processed food, healthcare and cosmetic products, fruits and vegetables, coconut-based products, natural rubber gloves, super foods, vanilla beans and cashew nuts, etc. 

The interactions with this buyer delegation was a great opportunity for Sri Lankan export oriented companies and for potential exporters to enhance knowledge on the Japanese market and develop and extend their business network. The delegates also undertook factory visits to select companies as a follow-up to the initial discussions held on 3 December.