Japanese Investors Meet the Minister of Economic Development

A Japanese business delegation led by Kouhei Watanabe – Chairman , the Japan – Sri Lanka Business Co- Operation Committee and senior cooperate adviser to ITOCHU corporation of Japan met Hon. Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development at the Ministry of Economic Development today (15)

Mr. Kouhei Watanabe said that Japan Sri Lanka Business Co- Operation Committee is working toward promoting investment and trade between two countries. Committee met in Japan last year with the attendance of more than 150 Japanese businessmen and investors and a joint meeting between Sri Lankan and Japanese Business Communities will be held this year in Sri Lanka.

Watanaba said ITOCHU Corporation of Japan is interested in trading Sri Lankan tea in Japan and China. Therefore two trade representatives of the company are visiting Sri Lanka to undertake a feasible study. Demand for Sri Lankan tea in Japanese market is increasing. China is a major tea producing country but now there is a big demand for high quality tea. Therefore ITOCHU Corporation is going to export Sri Lanka tea to both markets he said.

Hon. Basil Rajapaksa thanked Japan for the support given by the Japanese government and Japanese people continuously for the upliftment of the countries economy and well being of its people. He said the Japan Sri Lanka business co – operation has done a very good service to promote economic cooperation committee between the two countries. ITOCHU Corporation has been in Sri Lanka for a long period of time. Some big companies left Sri Lanka during the crisis time. But ITOCHU Co-operation remained in Sri Lanka throughout the good and bad periods and he thanked the corporation for that.

Minister said Japan helped Sri Lanka to build its economy by providing financial and technical assistance and Japan was the major aid provider from 1970s to present. Now it is time for the Japanese investor community to reap the benefit of the fast growing of Sri Lanka economy by investing and expanding the trade and commerce relations. Fishing is a specific area two countries can have joint ventures since Japan is helping Sri Lanka to promote sea cucumbers and sea weeds. Now a plan is underway to start joint tourist prograames aiming Maldives and Sri Lankan market.

Minister said Economic Development ministry together with Trade and foreign ministries will extend its fullest co operation to make joint Sri Lanka Business Council Meeting a success. He said visit by Japanese deputy prime minister this year was very successful in strengthening the economic – cooperation between the two countries and likewise Sri Lanka – Japan business joint meeting will also bring good results to the both countries.

Mr. Hidekki Ishizuka, Charge d affairs of Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka, Akihiko Suzuki, General Manager, International Coordination Department of ITOCHU Corporation, Ichiro Shimizu, ITOCHU Corporation’s South west Asia Chief officer, Thakashi Yoshino, General Manager of ITOCHU Corporation also participated in this discussion.

Source: http://med.gov.lk/english/?p=11824

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