Tokyo, Tuesday, February 6, 2018: – The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) says it has started encouraging Japanese private firms to invest in Zambia’s agriculture sector.
JETRO Executive Vice president, Katsumi Hirano says his organization is targeting Zambia because of its potential of becoming a regional food basket.
Dr Hirano said JETRO which promotes mutually beneficial trade and investment relations between Japan and other nations is optimistic that Japanese companies will greatly contribute to the industrialization of the agriculture sector.
He said his organization is aware of Zambia’s capabilities of exporting value-added Agro-produce to its neighbours and across the globe.
Dr Hirano said this when Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary for International Relations and Cooperation, Chalwe Lombe called on him in Tokyo, Japan yesterday.
He said the Japanese government appreciates the prevailing peace and stability in Zambia which is the main driving force for encouraging more Japanese companies to explore much of the country’s investment potential.
And Ambassador Lombe said development of agriculture is a priority in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) because of its diverse spiral effect on the economy.
He said it is for this reason that government is calling for more investment in the agriculture sector especially in the value addition chain of agro-products.
“Government’s focus is to build its private sector because it is the engine of economic growth. So that’s why it is important to look at possibilities of partnerships between the private sector in Japan and Zambia,” said Ambassador Lombe.
He said the Zambian government would like to see a greater presence of the Japanese private sector in the country for mutual benefit.
Ambassador Lombe urged JETRO to consider setting up regional offices in Zambia to harness trade and investment between Japan and the Southern part of Africa.
“Zambia’s geopolitical position allows us to be an economic hub because we have so many neighbours, we have a captive market and we belong to regional groupings such as SADC and COMESA that give Zambia access to markets of over 500 million people,” He said.
YOTAMU MUGARA (Mr.)
First Secretary- Press
Embassy of the Republic of Zambia, Tokyo, Japan.