Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment recently hosted a delegation from the Kansai region of Japan which consisted of many Japanese multinational companies. The delegation which was on a fact finding mission was led by Masuyuki Matsushita, Vice Chairman and Chairman International Committee of Kansai Economic Federation, Kankeiren, and also Vice Chairman of the Board of Panasonic Corporation.

The delegation also consisted of Senior Executives of the Kansai Economic Federation, representatives of JICA, as well as well-known Japanese corporations such as Takenaka Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, Hitachi Zosen Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, Dailan Industries and Mitsui and Co.

Also present at the meeting was Ms. Ruwini Dharmasiri, Chairperson – Waste Management Authority.

BOI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya welcomed the delegation. He spoke of the longstanding friendly relations between Sri Lanka and Japan. Sri Lanka’s modern relations with Japan go back to the San Francisco Conference of 1946, when Ceylon’s delegate Mr. J R Jayewardene took a strong stand, quoting Buddhist texts, asking for Japan to be forgiven and reintegrated into the family of nations.

He added that there had been mutual support each time either Sri Lanka or Japan had experienced difficulties such as Tsunamis. Jayasuriya welcomed Japanese investments In Sri Lanka stating that the country is very business friendly and was engaged in efforts to move up in the Doing Business Index.

JICA Advisor to BOI Kaizo Tsuchiya said in Japanese “BOI is the main agency to contact should you wish to start projects in Sri Lanka. BOI can provide you with the best information also it has very strong ties with all Sri Lankan Line Agencies. Please visit the BOI individually and we are ready to guide you personally”.

The delegation was briefed on the advantages to invest in Sri Lanka by Ms. Renuka Weerakone, Executive Director (Investment Promotion) of the BOI. Ms. Champika Malalgoda, Executive Director (Research and Policy Advocacy) of the BOI also did a presentation which covered Sri Lanka’s Trade Relations and the advantageous Free Trade Agreements that Sri Lanka has entered into with India and Pakistan. These agreements, will provide access to enter large South Asian markets to Japanese Companies should they decide to invest in Sri Lanka.

Another presentation on the environmental status of Sri Lanka and energy conservation policy was conducted by Ms. Sherine Perera, Director (Environment) of the BOI. The subject of “environmental changes and opportunities available to Japanese Investors” was covered by Director, Waste Management Authority of Sri Lanka. Nalin Mannapperuma.