The Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) has described the outgoing Japanese Ambassador to Zambia His Excellency Mr. Kiyoshi Koinuma as a strong economic bridge builder, reports pan African Radio journalist Hermit Hachilonde.
In a statement Issued by ZDA Public Relations Officer Russell Haambbi, the Director General Patrick Chisanga said the Ambassador Koinuma facilitated a 14 member Japanese delegation of investors and prospective investors and informed the Agency of the Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development (TICAD) VI in his first year of appointment.
Mr. Chisanga added that ZDA facilitated a business forum for the Japanese delegation to enlighten them about the vast investment opportunities available in various sectors of the Zambian economy.
“From the business forum, Zambia has seen three significant investments from Japan in agriculture and manufacturing. One of the investments is moving into Lusaka South Multi Facility Economic zone, ” observed Mr. Chisanga.
The Director General revealed that he is looking forward to a time when Japan would move beyond just trading with Zambia to partnering in investments.
Mr. Chisanga has since explained that TICAD was a major turning point for economic partnership between Zambia and Japan as Zambia signed two Memoranda of Understanding with the Japanese private sector through the ZDA and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
“We are now going to see more investments and economic collaborations between Zambia and Japan,” affirmed Mr. Chisanga.
Mr. Chisanga disclosed that further to the memorandum of understanding ZDA signed with Mizuho Bank Financing Group, ZDA is organising a business forum in Japan to consolidate the foundations built during TICAD six in Nairobi Kenya.
“In the second week of November, ZDA and some private sector players will be going to Tokyo, Japan to consolidate the foundations we begun at TICAD,” emphasised the Director General.
He has however expressed gratitude for the role outgoing Ambassador Koinuma played in bridging the economic partnership between the two countries.
“ZDA is sincerely grateful for the support and strong foundation you have helped to lay for Zambia and Japan,” explained the Director General.
The ZDA Director General also expressed sadness that Mr. Koinuma’s mission to serve in Zambia has come to an end and that he is leaving the country.
Mr. Chisanga has since wished the outgoing ambassador success in his new appointment.
And Mr. Koinuma thanked the Government of the Republic of Zambia for the positive relationship between the two countries during the time he has served in Zambia.
Commenting on the memoranda of understanding Zambia signed with Japan at the just ended TICAD, Mr. Koinuma said Tokyo is waiting for the results of the agreements.
“We have already launched the new age of our bilateral relationship with Zambia and now investment and trade partnerships are very important,” noted the outgoing ambassador.
“In the inauguration speech, the President talked about diversifying the economy and Japan can make immense contributions in helping Zambia to diversify,” added Mr. Koinuma.
He observed that Japan and Zambia can work together in various projects for the benefit of the two countries.
Mr. Koinuma however advised ZDA and IDC to take the leading role in engaging the Japanese investors.
Mr. Koinuma has been appointed by his Government to serve in Vienna, Austria in the same capacity.