Covid-19, an opportunity to boost bilateral ties - Japanese Ambassador | Sunday Observer

Covid-19, an opportunity to boost bilateral ties - Japanese Ambassador

20 September, 2020

Sri Lanka and Japan should introduce strategic moves to convert the global pandemic challenges into opportunities as most of the changes caused by Covid-19 are here to stay, Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Akira Sugiyama told the Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka-Japan Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in Colombo last week.

He said that the current situation could open new business opportunities and with the lessons learnt from the pandemic Sri Lanka and Japan could turn a new leaf. Sugiyama commended the efforts of the government in tackling the outbreak successfully.

“Japan provided a USD 9.6 million grant to help Sri Lanka fight Covid-19 which is affecting the global economy negatively,” he said, adding that the Government effectively.implemented a curfew to fight Covid-19 but the global situation has affected the island’s economy especially in the export and tourism sectors.

The council’s outgoing President Mahen Dayananda said the main items exported from Sri Lanka to Japan were ships and boats, tea and spices, apparel and clothing all of which accounted for Rs. 47.31 per cent of total exports from Sri Lanka in 2019.

“However, the total value of imports to Sri Lanka from Japan decreased by 39.2 percent from Rs. 257,588 million in 2018 to Rs. 156,514 million in 2019.