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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2701

China And Japan To Expand Business, Investment In Conducive Sri Lanka Climate

By Neville de Silva

Bangkok, June 11 ( The military defeat of the LTTE and the resultant post-war climate have aroused foreign interest in expanding business and investment in Sri Lanka, a Sri Lankan minister said.

Prof GL.Peiris, Minister of Export Development and International Trade who was returning from visits to Japan and China said that there was genuine interest to further business opportunities and investment now that earlier uncertainties had ended with the defeat of the LTTE.

Minister Peiris was transiting Bangkok on his way to Colombo after a major gathering of the Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Yokohama and the 4th China-South Asia Business Forum in Kunming, China.

He spoke to Asian Tribune about the successful outcomes of his East Asia visits.

While the apex body of chambers of commerce in the Asia-Pacific region will hold its next meeting in Colombo early next year, China has said it would accelerate the development of the Hambantota Port project, he said.

In addressing the plenary sessions of the Yokohama conference Minister Peiris had stressed Sri Lanka today presents a unique opportunity for trade and investment.

He had pointed out that there were increased opportunities for infrastructure development now that the entire country was under the control of the Sri Lanka Government after several years.

Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone had welcomed the defeat of the LTTE and told Minister Peiris when they met that Japan hopes to pave the way for still closer cooperation with Sri Lanka and its special envoy Yasushi Akashi has been instructed to help strengthen collaboration in the areas of trade and economy and Japan’s private sector would be encouraged to contribute to this effort.

Prof Peiris had outlined the various steps being taken by President Rajapaksa’s administration to alleviate the problems of the Tamil civilian population who had been the victims of the LTTE’s hostage-taking and said that the international community should understand and appreciate the enormity of the task of resettlement and reconstruction.

The Japanese foreign minister was also informed of the efforts to bring democracy back to the Northern Province after many years during which the LTTE had crushed political pluralism.

He pointed out that the LTTE had not only destroyed the democratic structure but had also eliminated the Tamil political leadership. There is a need, therefore, for a genuine democratic leadership to emerge now that the debris of the LTTE is being cleared.

Former Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda who had a luncheon meeting with Prof Peiris said that the ending of the menace of terrorism would open the doors for greater economic development by Sri Lanka to which Japan would be ready to help.

Japan was already funding a large cultural centre in Sigiriya.

Prof Peiris said that during his meeting with China’s Commerce Minister Chen Deming they discussed the infrastructure projects that China is assisting in including the Hambantota Port and the thermal power project in Puttalam.

He said that at Kunming Sri Lanka exhibited a wide range of its manufactured products with almost 60 leading business leaders from Sri Lanka participating.

- Asian Tribune -

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