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Sri Lanka – Japan Trade, Investment and Tourism

Presidential Spokesman and International Media Unit

BACKGROUNDER

Sunday, September 7, 2014

 Japan began its foreign assistance based on technical cooperation with the Colombo Plan in 1954 and commenced its provision of Yen loans in 1958 and grant aid cooperation in 1969. Through its many years of assistance to respond to the various development needs of Sri Lanka, Japan has contributed significantly to Sri Lanka’s achievement and maintenance of high social development indicators.

Development Assistance

According to available data up to 2012, Japan tops the list of ODA (Official Development Assistance) donors of Sri Lanka. In 2012, Japan disbursed $116.94 million as loan aid, $36.25 million as grant aid, and $29.02 million as technical cooperation. The total of $182.21 million during 2012 is more than 50% of the $357.99 million ODA received by Sri Lanka in 2012. This is significant considering that there are 29 members in the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) which donated ODA to countries. During President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s official visit to Japan last year, Japan agreed to provide development assistance totaling 43.8 billion Yen to Sri Lanka to be used in areas including infrastructure development and disaster prevention. Of this, 41.1 billion Yen were in the form of loans while 2.7 billion Yen was grant aid.

Exports and Imports

Tea has been the main export from Sri Lanka to Japan, and accounted for 21.6% of the total value of Sri Lanka's exports to Japan in 2013. Imports of motor vehicles from Japan accounted for more than 45% of the value of total imports from Japan in 2012. Other import items from Japan include electrical machinery, self-propelled bulldozers, iron or steel parts, and accessories of motor vehicles.

Investment

Foreign direct investment by Japanese companies into Sri Lanka dates back to the 1970s; the first milestone was in 1972 with the establishment of a joint venture between Noritake of Japan and the Ceylon Ceramics Corporation. Since then, Japanese investment has contributed immeasurably to the country's industrial development, particularly in the electronics, ceramics, engineering and metal based sector.

Since 1996, a number of large multinational conglomerates including Mitsui Group, Kawasho Corporation and YKK have committed substantial investments in large infrastructure and manufacturing projects in Sri Lanka. Additionally, existing Japanese enterprises such as Noritake, Lanka Porcelain, and Dankotuwa Porcelain (International Ceramics Corporation of Japan) – in the ceramics industry – and Dainichi Creations and FDK Lanka Ltd (Fuji Electro Chemical) – in the electronics industry – have expanded their investments in Sri Lanka. At present, there are about 60 enterprises with Japanese investment, operating in Sri Lanka.

Tourism

There has been a significant increase in tourist arrivals from Japan in the period of 2008 -2012. The number of tourists from Japan increased from approximately 17,000 in 2005 to more than 31,000 in 2013.

 

Source: Ministry of External Affairs

 

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