Japan’s Citrus Kingdom wants to establish direct trade links with Sri Lanka-starting with its globally renowned oranges and transfer of its fishery technology to Sri Lanka.
“Our Prefecture is now looking for wider partnership with Sri Lanka in industry, trade, agriculture and business” said Chief Counsellor to the Ehime Prefectural Governor General Tatsuhiko Kato on 27 July.
Ehime Chief Counsellor Kato was in discussions with the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 27 July in Colombo. Counsellor Kato was leading a three member Ehime Prefectural delegation to Colombo with a view to form prefectural trade and business links with Sri Lanka. Joining Minister Bathiudeen on 27 July was Secretary to Ministry of Industry and Commerce TMKB Thennakoon.
Sri Lanka exported $181 Mn fish and fisheries products in 2015. USA was the largest buyer in ’15.
“Ehime Prefecture is the Citrus Kingdom of Japan producing its renowned global brand of oranges and Kiwi fruits. Our Prefecture is now looking for wider partnership with Sri Lanka in industry, trade, agriculture and business” said Counsellor Kato and added: “Ehime has its own research institute for citrus fruits. Ehime already partners with Sri Lanka in orange production since 2006. Ehime saplings for Sri Lanka were done in close collaboration with Sri Lanka’s Agricultural Ministry. Three selected Ehime oranges are officially branded as “HORANA Ehime” and the grafted saplings came from mother trees of Ehime. We accepted several Lankan researchers for training. We also want enhanced cooperation with Sri Lankan fishery sector. We help Sri Lankan fishery sector to develop sustainable technology to enable them to produce Sri Lankan style fishery products. The popular fish paste cakes in Ehime is called Jako Ten and we introduced this technology to Sri Lanka’s NARA, and local universities. Since 2014, we sent four Japanese fishery researchers and two fishery company CEOs to Sri Lanka and this year too we will send eight Japanese fishery experts to train Sri Lankans. To showcase our partnership with Sri Lanka, we are holding Ehime Fair 2016 at Dutch Hospital Shopping Centre in Colombo this week-from July 28 to 30th.”
Minister Bathiudeen welcomed Counsellor Kato’s delegation and cooperation initiatives. “Japan is a long term friend of Sri Lanka and we have greatly benefitted from Japanese ODA” said Minister Bathiudeen and added: “I am also given to understand that Ehime Prefecture has, besides citrus and fisheries, strong industrial and manufacturing capacities as well and we invite Ehime industrial investors to invest here, partner in our Unity government’s industrial vision and make use of our Free Trade Agreements to reach the surging South Asian markets. I also thank Ehime Prefectural Government for the support extended to us for our orange and fishery sector development.”
In 2015, after USA, Japan was the second largest importer of Sri Lankan fish and fishery products. Of total Lankan fish and fishery exports in 2015, 11% headed to Japan, at a value of $19.7 Mn.
During the July 27 meeting, Minister Bathiudeen and Counsellor Kato also discussed other prospective forms of cooperation between Ehime and Sri Lanka.
– Asian Tribune –