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METI Minister Seko Holds a Meeting with H.E. Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

On April 11, 2017, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, held a bilateral meeting with H.E. Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka during his visit to Japan.

At the meeting, both sides agreed that Japan and Sri Lanka will advance efforts for investment promotion, energy cooperation and urban transportation development.

Sri Lanka and Japan enhanced their relationship to a comprehensive partnership, with the opportunity provided by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s visit to Japan in 2015. Under this partnership, Japan has been proactively supporting Sri Lanka in developing the country in a variety of fields, such as energy, infrastructure development (e.g., transportation and ports), and initiatives for encouraging Japan to trade with and invest in Sri Lanka. At the meeting, both sides exchanged views concerning the following three issues:

1) Expansion of support for promoting investment in Sri Lanka: formulation of a Japan-Sri Lanka Investment Promotion Roadmap

As part of the comprehensive partnership, both sides agreed to formulate a roadmap according to which Japan will promote investment in Sri Lanka, and they compiled a list of challenges in investment environments and related measures.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe explained the future potential of markets in Sri Lanka, as a country located in the Indian Ocean, and expressed his anticipation for the expansion of Japan’s investment in response to the Japan-Sri Lanka Economic Policy Dialogue in the summer of 2016 as well as the roadmap formulated based on the results of the dialogue. Moreover, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe also mentioned Sri Lanka Business Seminar, organized by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), which took place on the same day as the meeting with Minister Seko, and expressed that Sri Lanka will provide as much support as possible to Japanese companies developing business in the country.

2) Cooperation in energy infrastructure

Sri Lanka expects an increase in electricity demand along with the dramatic advancement of economic growth. Stabilizing energy supply is an urgent challenge for the country, as well as the related fuel imports which are causing a current-account deficit.

Under these circumstances, to realize the introduction of LNG into Sri Lanka, Japan, the world’s largest LNG consumer, expressed that it will take advantage of its rich experience and quality technologies, and contribute to developing energy infrastructure in Sri Lanka through optimal processes for the country, taking stable supply, economic efficiency and environmental friendliness into account. To this end, Japan expressed its hope to continue Japan-Sri Lanka dialogues to advance bilateral cooperation.

In response, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe expressed his intention to continue to discuss issues to further deepen the cooperative relationship.

3) Support in developing transportation infrastructure

Japan expressed its intention anew to cooperate in realizing the introduction of a new transportation system (Light Metro Transit System) into Sri Lanka, which will contribute to solving the problem of traffic jams in the urban area of Colombo. It also encouraged Sri Lanka concerning specific efforts on the Sri Lanka side (e.g., implementation systems), and confirmed that Japan and Sri Lanka will cooperate in advancing related efforts.

Meeting with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe

Release date

April 12, 2017

Division in Charge

Information on the meeting
Southwest Asia Office, Asia and Pacific Division, Trade Policy Bureau
Information on issues related to energy and transportation infrastructures
Office for Promotion of International Project, Infrastructure System and Water Industry, Manufacturing Industries Bureau
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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