Enacy Mapakame Business Reporter
Japanese companies have expressed keen interest in investing in Zimbabwe saying there is renewed impetus for business and economic growth.
This comes as the Japanese visited Zimbabwe on a two-day “Japan Business Mission to Zimbabwe,” organised by their Chamber of Commerce and Industries in South Africa (CCIJ) as well as the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).
The delegation met President Mnangagwa, other senior Government officials, captains of industries and visited several local companies such as Delta, Econet and Zimplats as they assessed the business environment and facilitate development of Japanese business activities in the country.
The delegation also met with Indian businesspeople operating in Zimbabwe to get an independent view of the business environment and how best to navigate through it.
JETRO Africa Region executive director Hiroyuki Nemoto, said Zimbabwe had great potential for growth and therefore a preferred investment destination in the region.
“Zimbabwe has so much potential for growth and we are satisfied with the engagements we have held so far. Our visit is the first step and we will take on the next step to develop businesses here. There are some challenges to overcome but with the new administration, we believe is creating a conducive environment for business. We had a direct message from the President and we believe in the potential Zimbabwe holds,” he said.
The delegation that comprised 16 companies and members of JETRO expressed interest in tourism, mining, healthcare, agriculture and Information and Technology among others.
The visit also helped foster the long standing relations between the two countries.
Japan has strong ties with countries in the region and has identified Zimbabwe as strategic in their quest to expand their businesses in the Sub Saharan Africa region on the back of its rich mineral resources, strong human capital and the country’s natural beauty.
Additionally, Zimbabwe has renewed global interest following the change in leadership in 2017, which was followed by the harmonised general elections last year.
Zimbabwe has also committed itself to reforms and international engagement, which the Japanese believe provides renewed opportunity for foreign businesses to participate in rebuilding the Zimbabwean economy and bring prosperity to this great country.
Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Toshiyuki Iwado, said while the country needed to work on measures to address foreign exchange challenges, it still remained a good investment destination. He added engagements with both Government and private sector were fruitful and helped the business delegation have a clear picture of the investment landscape in Zimbabwe.
“Their interest in Zimbabwe as business partner, has grown,” he said.
Among the Japanese companies represented during the mission included Toshiba Africa, Fujifilm, Africa Mobility Solutions, Mitsubishi Corporation and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC).