High powered Japanese biz delegation at Economic Forum | Sunday Observer

High powered Japanese biz delegation at Economic Forum

The Sri Lanka-Japan Economic Forum in progress
The Sri Lanka-Japan Economic Forum in progress

A delegation of 59 Chairmen, Chief Executive Officers and leading officials of some of the largest, most important and best known Japanese companies visited Sri Lanka on the invitation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and participated at the Sri Lanka-Japan Economic Forum organized by the BOI at the Shangri-La Hotel last week.

This is the first time in recent years that a Japanese business delegation consisting of companies of this significance has come to the country to evaluate opportunities for investment and trade.

It is also a reflection of the growing confidence that the international investor community holds for Sri Lanka as well as its appreciation of the efforts made by the country to improve its business and investment environment, a BOI spokesman said.

The delegation was led by Dr. Akio Mimura Senior Advisor, Honorary Chairman of Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corporation, assisted among others by leading business leaders such as Takanobu Ito, Director and Advisor of Honda Motor Co., Ltd, Masami Iijima, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mitsui & Co. Ltd, Masaru Onishi Director, Chairman, Japan Airlines, Yoichi Kobayashi, Vice Chairman, ITOCHU Corporation, Mr. Muneo Kurauchi, Advisor, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd, Mr. Shigeki Dantani, Executive Vice Chairman, Sojitz Corporation, Taku Morimoto, CEO, Mitsui & Co (Asia Pacific) Pte Ltd, Hiroshi Sakuma, Executive Vice President, Mitsubishi Corporation, Kazunori Konishi, Managing Director, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries India Private Ltd, Naoki Izumi, Chairman and Managing Director, Marubeni Corporation, Marubeni India Private Limited, Sei Kosaka, Director, Komatsu Store., Co. Ltd, Fumio Hoshi, Senior Advisor, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

The delegation represented a wide cross section of the Japanese economy from sectors including heavy industry, Automobile, Airline, Banking, infrastructure, services, energy and machinery. At the forum, Chairman, of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, Dumindra Ratnayaka welcomed the Japanese visitors and introduced Sri Lanka’s business and investment environment and strong commitment to attracting investment from leading Japanese companies.

He welcomed them to become the country’s economic partners in development. Also addressing the audience were Rajendra Theagarajah, the Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Akio Mimura, Chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Daya Weththasinghe, President of the Sri Lanka-Japan Business Co-operation Committee.

Japanese investments have had a significant presence in the country for several decades and are an integral part of national economy of Sri Lanka.

Kenichi Suganuma, Ambassador for Japan in Sri Lanka and his counterpart Prof. Ganganath Dissanayake, Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Japan also participated at the Forum.

The keynote address was delivered by Malik Samarawickrama, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade who was overall responsible for the organizing and hosting of Sri Lanka Japan Economic Forum.

The BOI made a strong case to the Japanese side to invest Sri Lanka and a presentation was made by Champika Malalgoda, Executive Director - Research and Policy Advocacy.

The final event was a panel discussion that provided an insight into doing business in Sri Lanka. At a press conference held at the conclusion of the forum, Dr. Akio Mimura, the leader of the delegation said, “My impression was that it was a good decision on our part to visit Sri Lanka and indeed we rediscovered the country.”