Zim, Japan sign economic deals…

President Mugabe shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe following a signing ceremony at the latter’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan yesterday. - Picture by Presidential Photographer Joseph Nyadzayo.

President Mugabe shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe following a signing ceremony at the latter’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan yesterday. – Picture by Presidential Photographer Joseph Nyadzayo.

Felex Share in TOKYO, Japan—
JAPAN and Zimbabwe yesterday sealed vital economic agreements with the Asian giant’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe immediately making an undertaking to fund local road infrastructure development. Speaking after meeting President Mugabe at his offices here yesterday, PM Abe said by signing the agreements, the two leaders were committing themselves to a “guide post for co-operation in broader areas going forward”. “More specifically, we will render our co-operation for the improvement and development of road infrastructure in Zimbabwe’s north-south corridor,” he said.

“It is a great pleasure for me that I state our further cooperation after our last year’s grant aid ($15 million), the first of its kind in 15 years. Japan established diplomatic relations with Zimbabwe in 1980, the year of independence of Zimbabwe, a country with abundant resources and great nature, and has built friendly relationship ever since.”

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Zimbabwean Ambassador to Japan Titus Abu-Basutu and Japanese ambassador in the country Mr Yoshi Hiraishi also signed agreements made on the “grant aid cooperation on socio-economic development plan”.

PM Abe, who described President Mugabe as a “revered doyen”, said his country would also chip in and assist Zimbabwe in dealing with the effects of the El Nino-induced drought that has left more than four million people in need of food aid.

The cooperation agreements strengthen the Government’s Look East Policy as Zimbabwe is also implementing various deals sealed with China in the past two years. The deals cover key economic enablers identified under Zim-Asset, the country’s economic blueprint.

PM Abe also enlisted the services of President Mugabe in his country’s preparation for the Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD) IV to be held in Kenya in August. “We will have a close consultation with Zimbabwe on how we can assist to best respond to the local needs to counter severe food shortages that have resulted from drought,” he said.

“While TICAD IV is going to be held for the first time in Africa, President Mugabe graciously agreed to attend the meeting to ensure the conference (is a) success. At the meeting, while gaining the cooperation of the President himself, I am determined to support strongly the African Development Agenda (2063) through demonstrating a concrete contribution distinctive of Japan such as high level of technology and human resource development while engaging the business community and civil society.”

President Mugabe said Zimbabwe’s doors were open to investment and special conditions would be granted to investors in special economic zones.

He said: “Special conditions are also extended in our special economic zones and Japanese business people are invited to take advantage of this. It is true that enduring relations are cemented by robust exchanges of goods and services. On the investment front, I am inviting Japanese companies to invest heavily in Zimbabwe, which carries the promise of handsome returns for the investor. We have abundant opportunities for investors and they should look forward to a mutually rewarding relationship with us.”

President Mugabe said the bilateral engagement he had with PM Abe was “comprehensive, forward looking and fruitful” as it focused on economic, scientific and cultural cooperation. “I also briefed him on opportunities for cooperation and business in Zimbabwe’s health, education, mining, agriculture and manufacturing sectors. We also had time to review regional and global developments and share information of mutual interest,” he said.

He said while Zimbabwe was a beneficiary of humanitarian aid from Japan, time had come for the two countries to enhance their relationship with projects that enrich both parties. President Mugabe said the country needed food aid to deal with El Nino-induced drought and that it had already made an appeal to the international community.

“Currently Zimbabwe, in fact, the Southern African region, is suffering the effects of an El Nino drought,” he said. “My Government has taken the appeal for drought relief to the international community including Japan and I am confident that as Japan has always done, it will come to our aid.”

Earlier on, President Mugabe paid a State call on their Majesties the Emperor of Japan, Akihito and Empress Michiko. The President was accompanied by the First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe, during the event which was held at the Imperial Palace.

President Mugabe also had closed door meetings with representatives of four companies that have plans to invest in Zimbabwe.

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  • titusO

    Mr Mugabe, the Chinese are watching….nuff said

  • Muzimba

    Funy indeed: since i was a little boy, I saw many government delegates signing DEALS with our country bu very very few materialised.

    • machakachaka

      You are right. We sign, sign and sign, but we never see anything coming out of it. I hope the Government would publish the list of the deals it signed, and also attach updates on what happened to the deals. Otherwise we will have no confidence in this signing business.

      • A matter of time

        When the time is right, the deals will materialise. These countries are laying the ground for their presence when the need arises. They would have carved out their stake in Zimbabwe. this is what we call speculative behaviour. Gara waseta.

  • Grace Jones

    These hand shakes are meaningless for the man on the street. Hazvibatsire kana nepadiki pose. The country pays a lot to transport and house a delegation. all we get is a handshake picture we see . hapana chinombobuda from these useless hand shaking trips. mugabe ngaagare nzvimbo imwe. he is tooo too expensie for nothing. uchadazve kuenda kunorapwa saka he should be cutting down on these useless shopping trips .

    • Kwangwari Gwayendepi

      Vatete Gire,hanzi naMacheso njanji yamave kuda kudimbura iyi,ndiyo inouya nezvamurikuchemera. Mukada kukupa Gungwa nemukombe nemakomichi munokukurwa. Musachere gomo nemapiki nemafoshoro.

  • Brian

    Oh how I love these useless mega deals

    • Jabulani

      These are just ‘deals’ not ‘mega deals’. Maybe we can call them ‘mini deals’?

      • Kwangwari Gwayendepi
  • tito taonezvi

    These handshakes will only prove fruitfull when the government puts in place good policies favourable for investments ,good governance, weeding out corruption. The country is so rich in everything: minerals, agriculture ,technology ,skills and abundant labour. Why would we be a poor state to such an extent that we go out begging for help.

  • Tsotso

    Meanwhile the gvt will cancel licences for those unrepentant foreign companies unable to follow the zanu pf way of dolling out shares to locals.

  • Ijaha le Maguswini Amnyama

    Totenda maruva tadya chakata. Soyicela isivuthiwe. I am still ready to eat my laptop when the Chinese Mega deals happen.

  • owen nyabadza

    instead of continuing signing these deals, the President should be busy looking for the 15 billion which was stolen because of these so called deals.

  • wesley

    Japan has its eyes set on a seat at the UN Security Council and needs African support so they offer Zim some help with road-building. That’s the only deal here.

    • Howard

      Lets hope it will not be a raw deal

  • Guest Zvangu

    Editor why did you omit the $5m we were given by Japan

  • Judas

    Lots and lots of deals yes,but nothing and nothing.I think Mugwabwe and Digrace are selling the country out for their are too greedy.

  • Collin Mackenzie

    Zimbabwe Won 4 – 0 great news yesterday and still you only right negative stories and politics.

    I have asked 100 times why do you only post political tops only .

    Why I need a response please or are you all political minded people who work for the Herald and seen no importance of other headline news from Zimbabwe.
    Are you paid to report this rubbish all the time of which most has no value.