Boosting Sri Lanka’s ODI profile, yet another Japanese conglomerate, the fortune 500’s Sumitomo Corporation, is returning to Sri Lanka-and with a new strategy.
This is our prior-entry fact finding mission to Sri Lanka. We are keen for re-entry. We were previously well known in Sri Lanka for trade (chemicals, steel), and infrastructure (water supply and telecommunications), said Masahiro Fujita, Managing Executive Officer and Assistant General Manager of Tokyo based Sumitomo Corporation.
In our re-entry, we are closely looking at steel products, agro-chemicals and food sectors, he added.
Our Singapore unit has capacity in non- ferrous metals, tubular products such as oil pipes and storage, transportation and construction systems, and in organic chemicals and plastics, Fujita said.
Addressing Masahiro Fujita, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishak Bathiudeen revealed that the Government is prepared do everything possible to facilitate Sumitomo’s prompt re-entry and encourage them to enter Sri Lanka’s food processing, agro chemicals and steel sectors. “We also invite you to look at construction in tourism, industry infrastructure and value added rubber production for export”, he said.
I believe Sumitomo can also play a strong role in the value added rubber-supply chain to Japanese auto makers via Sri Lanka, the Minister said.
Accompanying Masahiro Fujita were Shigeki Ohno (GM, Corporate Planning 0f Sumitomo Corporation Asia Ltd, Singapore), Masahiro Yamamoto (Asia & Oceanic Team, Sumitomo Tokyo) and Keiichi Takahashi (Sumitomo India-Chennai). Sumitomo Corp, considered as one the biggest trading houses in Japan, and whose 2012 revenue is estimated at $ 26.8 Bn, began operations in Sri Lanka in 1968 but pulled back in 2009 leaving only a mini-rep office in Colombo.
Well known in Sri Lanka for its heavy machinery, cranes and telecom towers, Sumitomo Corp employs 5185 employees across 65 countries. This year Sumitomo Corp is aggressively reaching out across the globe with many mergers and acquisitions.