Sell more to Japan - Suzuki chief
Osamu Suzuki, the highest-ranking official from Japan's Suzuki Motor Corporation to visit Sri Lanka, urged Sri Lanka to increase exports to Japan and reduce it's debt.

During a brief one-day visit to the island to open a 24-hour Suzuki service centre at Narahenpita, the chairman and CEO of the Suzuki Motor Corp told The Sunday Times FT during a brief interview that it was essential for both countries to benefit from a win-win situation instead of Japan being the bigger beneficiary.

Japan exports a large number of automobiles and other electronic goods to Sri Lanka while Sri Lanka's sales of goods in return are marginal. The Japanese business tycoon was scheduled to meet President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Wednesday afternoon but instead met Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse after the presidential meeting was cancelled.

"The discussion was on issues relating to enhancing Suzuki's business in Sri Lanka," Sheran Fernando, Managing Director of Motor Marvals, Suzuki's local agent, said. He didn't give details. In Sri Lanka since 1983, Suzuki has sold over 1000 new vehicles and more than 5000 reconditioned vehicles.

Asked about prospects of starting an assembly plant here, the chairman said apart from a new model to be launched by the Indian plant the company had no plans for any new joint ventures in Asia. Suzuki's Asian plants include those in India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Korea and Taiwan.

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