25 July 2012, Sweetcrude/African Press Organization (APO), TOKYO, Japan – Japan has indicated that its companies are interested in exploring business opportunities in Zimbabwe and that the country would move forward with preparations for a joint government and private sector mission that is scheduled to be dispatched to Zimbabwe in August this year.
This was disclosed by the Japanesed Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba during a dinner meeting at the State Guest House in Tokyo to welcome the Right Honourable Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, who was on a working visit to Japan.
Gemba said that Japanese companies were highly interested in Zimbabwe, adding that based on a statement by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Japan would move forward with preparations to explore business opportunities in Zimbabwe.
Foreign Minister Gemba welcomed the visit to Japan by Prime Minister Tsvangirai, and stated that he valued the solidarity shown by Zimbabwe at the time of the Great EastJapan Earthquake and would like to take the opportunity of this visit to bring vitality to relations between the two countries. Both agreed to continue cooperation aimed at the success of the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), which is scheduled to be held in Yokohama in June 2013.
In his response, Prime Minister Tsvangirai said that investment from foreign countries was essential for the development of Zimbabwe’s economy, and that he hoped that the mission would help promote investment in Zimbabwe by Japanese companies.
Foreign Minister Gemba stated that Japan would begin preparations for the full-fledged resumption of economic cooperation in support of progress in democratization in Zimbabwe.
Both countries exchanged views concerning improving the investment environment in Zimbabwe, including the application of the Indigenization Law in the country.
The Zimbabwean indigenization law obligates companies to have 51% or more of their corporate stock owned by citizens of Zimbabwe.