Srilanka to Revive Japan-Funded Rail Projects next week

Priority to reboot the Light Railway Transit Project

President Ranil Wickremesinghe is to discuss the revival of the Light Railway Transit project and 12 other Japanese-funded projects shelved or abandoned by the Gotabaya Rajapaksa Government.

He will do so during his forthcoming visit to Japan to take part in the state funeral of former Prime Minster Shinzo Abe on Tuesday when he calls on the incumbent Premier Fumio Kishida, relevant Cabinet Ministers, the President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and representatives of the private sector.

During the presidential visit, the Colombo Port West Container Terminal development and the LNG power plant project will also come up for discussion.

According to reports by Sunday Times , ways and means will be explored by the President, to narrow the balance of trade which is in Japan’s favour, and seek to attract from Japan to Sri Lanka foreign direct investments (FDIs) which in the past have been lagging at about 2 percent of Japan’s total foreign investments.

President Wickremesinghe’s visit takes place at a time when Japan and Sri Lank marks this year  the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Japan being an important development partner, accounting for about 14% of total multilateral and bilateral aid flows, and also being a major international creditor to Sri Lanka, President Wickremesinghe is scheduled to have discussions on Sri Lanka’s pursuit of the IMF process.

Japan, this year has accorded emergency humanitarian grant aid in two phases, for food nutrition, health and sanitationamounting to U$ 6.5 mn, which is being disbursed through the World Food Programme, the UNICEF and the International Federation of the Red Cross.

President Wickremesinghe in his capacity as Minister of Finance will travel to Manila to Chair the 55th ADB annual meeting of the Board of Governors on Thursday.

President Wickremesinghe is scheduled to have discussions with the ADB President regarding further assistance to Sri Lanka to address the current unprecedented economic downturn in the country.

He will also meet the Philippines’ President Bongbong Marcos during the visit.

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