Sri Lanka-Japan economic partnership showing great promise: ambassador


Kenichi Suganuma, ambassador for Japan in Sri Lanka explains the project and services outreach of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) across Sri Lanka, at a press briefing held in Colombo recently. Japan’s development support to Sri Lanka since its independence amounts to more than Rs. 1,500 billion.

by Sanath Nanayakkare

"There is growing interest by the Japanese business community to strengthen business with Sri Lanka and we are hopeful that more trade and investments are coming in, Kenichi Suganuma, ambassador for Japan in Sri Lanka told the media recently at his official residence in Colombo.

"Japan welcomes the Sri Lankan government’s ambitious plans to restructure its economy and we look forward to the various initiatives that are underway such as the megapolis, the Japanese ambassador noted.

The Japanese ambassador made these comments while issuing a message to the media to mark the occasion of the birthday of the Emperor of Japan which fell on December 23.

Speaking further the ambassador said, "Japan is a committed partner in supporting sustainable economic growth in Sri Lanka through our Official Development Assistance (ODA), and intends to continue to work together with the government of Sri Lanka to develop, for example, transport system in Colombo, transmission lines and water supply systems in Anuradhapura as well as to strengthen the communities in conflict affected areas.

"Japan and Sri Lanka have enjoyed over six decades of friendly relations and Japan has always supported Sri Lanka during both good times and difficult times. Japan started to support economic development soon after Sri Lanka's independence and its total contribution amounts to more than 1,500 billion rupees.

"During the difficult times of conflict too, we supported Sri Lanka in trying to broker peace and organized international conferences to collect humanitarian assistance, the ambassador recalled.

"Some of the major projects we contributed to include Port of Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura General Hospital, Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Plant, and Bandaranaike International Airport, he noted.

Referring to the promotion of investment and trade, the ambassador said, "Japan welcomes the intentions of Sri Lanka to develop a better climate to attract foreign investment including Japanese companies.

Commenting on Emperor Akihito, the Japanese ambassador said, "On this happy occasion of the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, it is my great pleasure to assure the strong support of the government and people of Japan to the government and people of Sri Lanka, and I would also like to express my earnest wishes for a lasting peace and prosperity in Sri Lanka."

The Japanese ambassador also made a special mention about the joint declaration signed on comprehensive partnership between Japan and Sri Lanka when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited Japan last October.

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