A Forum titled ‘Sri Lanka – Japan: The Way Forward in Bilateral Trade and Investment’ which was jointly organized by the Sri Lanka – Japan Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (SLJBC) and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Sri Lanka (JCCI-SL) was held on 12th December, 2022 at 05.00 p.m. at Granbell Hotel Colombo
The Welcome Address was made by Mr. Mahen Kariyawasan, President, Sri Lanka – Japan Business Council, followed by Addresses by H.E. Hideaki Mizukoshi, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka and H.E. Rodney Perera, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Japan, who joined online.
In his presentation on the JCCI-SL, which was established in 1987, Mr. Hideaki Tanaka, Chairman, provided an update on the membership of the JCCI-SL, which comprises of 78 members, which are Japanese companies that have invested in Sri Lanka in the manufacturing, construction, and trade and services sectors.
In the presentation on the SLJBC made by Mr. Kariyawasan, it was highlighted that the Japan – Sri Lanka Business Corporation Committee and the Sri Lanka – Japan Business Corporation Committee, as the Council was formerly known were jointly inaugurated on 24th August 1979 in Colombo. The membership of the Council is currently comprised of 100 Sri Lankan Companies that are actively engaged in Business with Japan.
Ms. Renuka Weerakone, Director General of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka made a speech, which was followed by a Presentation made by Mr. Prasanjith Wijayatilake, Executive Director – Investment Promotion. The presentation highlighted that the FDI Inflow from Japan from the year 2011 the year 2021 was USD 420 Mn. This was followed by a speech by Mr. Suresh de Mel, Chairman, Sri Lanka Export Development Board on how the EDB can help facilitate existing Japanese investors in Sri Lanka.
The Panel Discussion with H.E. Rodney Perera, H.E. Hideaki Mizukoshi, Mr. Kariyawasan, and Mr. Tanaka, which was moderated by Ms. Savithri Rodrigo dwelled deeper into investment opportunities available for Japanese investors in Sri Lanka and what needs to be done to address current issues faced by them to make Sri Lanka a more attractive destination for Japanese investors.
Mr. Hiroki Oi, Resident Representative of JETRO Sri Lanka briefed the gathering on the segments of tourists in Japan that is looking to visit Sri Lanka, while Mr. Chalaka Gajabahu, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) presented the initiatives taken by Sri Lanka to attract Japanese tourists into the Country. Next, H.E. Hideaki Mizukoshi made a brief presentation on Osaka-Kansai EXPO, which Japan will be hosting in the year 2025.
Finally, the Sri Lanka – Japan Business Council Website, which can be accessed at https://srilankajapanbiz.lk, was launched by H.E. Hideaki Mizukoshi, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka at this event. The forum was followed by a highly interactive Networking Reception.