Factories to produce raw materials for apparels should be launched in SL — Basil

Under Japanese investment


A discussion on Japanese investments in Sri Lanka between the Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa and Thadai Suki, Chairman of Japan Sri Lanka Enterprise Committee, took place recently at the Ministry premises.

Rajapaksa said: "Sri Lanka and Japan have been enjoying good business relations for a long time. At the same time, the Japanese Government has made major investments in our country. This enabled a large number of Sri Lankans to be employed in these Japanese factories in Sri Lanka and earn an income".

"We are now taking action to promote export of vegetable, fruits and ornamental foliage using modern techniques. We have opened a Tissue Culture Centre at Gampaha and we are constantly getting advice and observations from local universities".

He noted that there is an encouraging demand for pineapples, with a taste endemic to Sri Lanka, in the Middle East market. Action will be taken through this tissue culture centre to promote appropriate varieties of pineapple. Local cultivators will be encouraged to breed plantains, mangoes, vegetables and flowers in home gardens as well as major scale plantations. Export oriented cultivation of plantains, mangoes and pineapple is already happening in remote areas like Moneragala and Hambantota.

At the same time, the apparel industry has reached a new high in Sri Lanka with top quality products. However, 90% of raw materials required for the industry is imported, the Minister said. "Therefore, I urge factories that produce raw materials for apparels be launched in Sri Lanka with Japanese investments. As our labor resources are knowledgeable, efficient and friendly, it will be easy to achieve productions of high quality".

Rajapaksa said the government is ready to provide requisite facilities and assistance for the production of medicines and apparels etc.

Thadai Suki, Chairman of the Japan Sri Lanka Business Committee said he is pleased to see the development strides achieved by Sri Lanka. Japanese investors will be able to dispatch their production to reach their anticipated destinations with minimal cost, thanks to the improved transport facilities including super highways.

A big demand for Ratnapura gems and gem-related productions exists in Japan and moves are afoot to develop this segment, he noted.

Japanese assistance will be extended to Sri Lanka to explore markets for Sri Lankan plantains in the world and also develop fish exports from Sri Lanka.

Esala Weerakone, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development and a host of Japanese entrepreneurs were also present.

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