Basil woos for more from Japanese investors in Sri Lanka

Tuesday, 4 October 2011 00:13 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa met a high level business delegation led by Kuniyo Takahashi, Japanese ambassador in Sri Lanka with a view to reviewing the progress made by the Japanese investors already operating in Sri Lanka and promoting further investment from Japan.

This meeting was the third in a series of interactions that the Minister of Economic Development is expected to hold with the existing foreign investors of Sri Lanka in order to iron out any trade and investment issues that needed to be sorted out to further enhance their commercial operations in Sri Lanka.

Earlier he met French and UK investors operating in Sri Lanka.  

Addressing the meeting the Minister said Sri Lanka was now one of the safest countries in the world. “Now you can make use of the twin factors of durable peace and political stability in the country to enhance your investment. Sri Lanka has a well disciplined and strong labour force. Vast opportunities are available in the field of tourism, manufacturing, garments, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and trade sectors,” added the Minister.   

At the very outset Japanese ambassador Takahashi said Japan had maintained a strong relationship with Sri Lanka since the inception of diplomatic relations between the two countries and Japan was very happy about the prevailing peaceful situation in Sri Lanka and that Sri Lanka should now give priority to attract investors from other countries since more and more investment was vital to the countries growth drive.

Minister Rajapaksa responding said the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka was being reorganised to become a fully operational one stop shop and the operational work of the Department of Customs had been streamlined introducing the electronic submission of Customs documents.

Rajapaksa also said some of the major highway projects would be completed next year and investors could make use of these facilities to expand their investment in places outside the metropolitan area. “All infrastructure facilitates such as highways, electricity and telecommunication are available in the other areas including labour,” said the Minister and invited the entrepreneurs to take advantage of the vast opportunities available to them in the districts outside Colombo and make use of the labour, land and other facilities available in those areas.

While thanking the diplomatic officials and the investors for their continued support the Minister urged the investors to make use of the mutually advantageous opportunities available in Sri Lanka.

Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Development was also associated at the meeting together with Hideki Ishizuka Minister, Suguru Minoya, Head, Economic Cooperation section of the Embassy of Japan and Tadashi Yoshino, Chairman of the Japanese Commerce and Industry association.