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* Japan to boost investments in Sri Lanka industries
Sat, Aug 23, 2014, 10:09 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 23, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa Chairman of Japan Sri Lanka Enterprise Committee Thadai Suki recently discussed enhancing Japanese investments in Sri Lanka's industries.

The Minister pointing out that the two countries have been enjoying a successful business relationship for a long time noted that Japanese Government has made major scale investments in Sri Lanka enabling a large number of Sri Lankans to be employed in Japanese factories in Sri Lanka and earning a heavy volume of foreign exchange.

He said Sri Lanka is taking measures to promote exporting vegetable, fruits and ornamental foliage employing modern techniques.

"We have opened a tissue culture Centre at Gampaha and we are constantly getting advice and observations from local universities," he told the Japanese representative.

The Minister noted that a great demand for pineapple with a taste endemic to Sri Lanka exists in the Middle East market and action will be taken through this tissue culture center to promote appropriate varieties of pineapple.

According to the Minister, local cultivators will be encouraged to breed plantains, mangoes, vegetables and flowers which will be cultivated in home gardens as well as major scale plantations. Export oriented cultivation of plantains, mangoes and pineapple is already taking place in remote areas like Moneragala and Hambantota.

The Minister also highlighted that the country's apparel industry has reached highest proportions as apparels of highest quality are being produced in Sri Lanka.

However, 90 of raw materials required for the industry is imported and therefore, the Minister urged that factories for production of raw materials required for the production of apparels be started with Japanese investments.

"Since our labor resources are knowledgeable, efficient and friendly, it will be easy to achieve productions of higher quality," he said.

Minister further stated that the government is ready to provide requisite facilities and assistance for the production of medicines and apparels etc.

The Chairman of Japan Sri Lanka Business Committee commending present development achieved by Sri Lanka said the Japanese investors will be able to dispatch their production to reach their anticipated destinations with little cost, thanks to the improved transport facilities in the island including super highways.

He said there is a big demand for Ratnapura gems and gem related productions in Japan and measures will be taken to improve them further. He also stated that Japanese assistance will be extended to Sri Lanka to find a special place for Sri Lankan plantains in the world market and also to improve fish exports from Sri Lanka.

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