The Japanese government is to deploy technical staff through the International Cooperation Agency (JICA) at COMESA Secretariat to work on infrastructure and related issues.
This was disclosed by outgoing Japanese Ambassador to Zambia and Special Representative to COMESA His Excellency Mr Kiyoshi Koinuma during a meeting with Secretary General Mr Sindiso Ngwenya. The ambassador was bidding farewell as his tour of duty has come to an end.
Ambassador Koinuma praised the relationship between COMESA and Japan and confirmed that JICA has agreed in principle to deploy the technical staff.
Further, he hailed the signing of the Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) between PTA bank and Japanese financial development institutions which will facilitate trade and investment between the COMESA region and Japan.
Secretary General Ngwenya thanked Ambassador Koinuma for having worked tirelessly to improve the relations between COMESA and Japan which for the first time will result in the secondment of Japanese experts to COMESA secretariat.
He then paid tribute to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for his visionary leadership and noted that in the past three years, Prime Minister Abe has visited COMESA region in particular and Africa in general with huge delegations of business people.
He then assured the outgoing ambassador that COMESA Member States are improving the investment climate which is expected to attract foreign investment.
In conclusion, Mr Ngwenya indicated that the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area with a combined population of 590 million people and Gross Domestic Product of $1.3 trillion dollars will be the basis for the establishment of the continental Free Trade Area.