Zim gears for Expo 2025 Osaka Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Tanaka Satoshi addresses journalists in the company of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Permanent Secretary Ambassador James Manzou (centre), ZimTrade chief executive Mr Allan Majuru (right) at the Osaka 2025 Expo press conference in Harare yesterday. - Picture: Kudakwashe Hunda.

Farirai Machivenyika-Senior Reporter

The Expo 2025 Osaka to be held in Japan will provide Zimbabwe an opportunity to establish partnerships and attract investment from new markets in line with the Government’s policy of engagement and re-engagement.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador James Manzou, said this yesterday when he officially announced Zimbabwe’s participation in Expo 2025 Osaka.

Zimbabwe will take advantage of its participation to attract investment in various sectors of the economy such as mining, agriculture, tourism and manufacturing, among others.

“In line with our foreign policy thrust, as a ‘Friend to all, enemy to none’, Zimbabwe will forge new partnerships and attract investment including from new frontiers at Expo 2025, in line with the Government’s approach over the past five years,” said Ambassador Manzou.

“Through engagement, re-engagement and re-affirmation, our primary objective is to improve relations, and foster economic growth, with the main aim to improve the living standards of our citizens.”

The six-month-long Expo will be held from April 13 to October 13, 2025, under the theme, “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”. 

“Clearly, the theme is a clarion call on all of us to maximise our potential, while leveraging on the opportunities arising from our interconnected world, where synergies are the lynchpin of our global society.

“This befitting theme could not have come at a better time, following an incessant disruption of business which was accentuated by the Covid-19 pandemic over the past few years,” he said.

Ambassador Manzou added that it was fitting that Expo 2025 Osaka would be held on Japan’s main island of Honshu; home to the country’s major cities and a citadel of cultural heritage sites, among an array of other attractions that Japan offers.

As part of the preparations, the Government has appointed ZimTrade chief executive Mr Allan Majuru as Commissioner-General for Expo 2025 Osaka.

Mr Majuru brings a wealth of experience to Expo 2025 Osaka, accumulated from organising Zimbabwe’s international trade missions regionally and internationally, especially over the past five years.

Added Ambassador Manzou: “Zimbabwe’s participation at Expo 2025 will provide an excellent opportunity for us to market our unlimited investment opportunities in agriculture, mining, tourism, manufacturing and technology.

“On the cultural front, we will also showcase our rich heritage. This includes our diversity in terms of culture, dress, our traditional foods which have become an essential element to reassert our identity and have also become integral in our cuisine! Zimbabwe will also market its unlimited tourist attractions, apart from our major drawcard, the majestic Victoria Falls.”

Zimbabwe will also showcase the hugely-in-demand Zimbabwean workforce equally driving key industries across the globe.

As has become tradition, the Government will also ensure that it will use the event to engage with the Zimbabwean Diaspora and all collaborating stakeholders.

Ambassador Manzou said Zimbabwe’s participation in Expo 2025 will also enable the country to learn from other countries and gain crucial insights into new technologies, products and services that are vital in improving the destination’s competitiveness in line with the ease of doing business reforms, enunciated by President Mnangagwa.

In the spirit of leaving no one and no place behind, the Government will work closely with all partners at home and abroad to ensure Zimbabwe’s participation in the Expo 2025 Osaka would be a success, building on the ground-breaking trajectory set by Expo 2020 Dubai.

At Expo 2020 Dubai, Zimbabwe achieved several milestones including the signing of a US$250 million Joint Venture agreement between ARDA and the NV Group of India to establish a brewery in Masvingo, a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development and the private office of Sheikh Ahmed Bin Faisal Al-Qassimi.

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) also entered into an agreement with DNATA Travel on marketing, among other agreements.

Mr Majuru said he was humbled by his appointment as Commissioner-General.

“This World Expo is a platform for Zimbabwe to consolidate and position itself as a preferred destination for tourism and investment and as a source market for goods and services.

“The country has recorded important milestones in its re-engagement efforts under the mantra ‘Friend to all and enemy to none’ and I would like to leverage on the achievement by President Mnangagwa to reach out to millions of people who are expected to grace this occasion,” he said.

The Expo is expecting 28 million visitors from across the world and to date, over 150 countries have confirmed their participation.

Mr Majuru said the Expo’s main theme would be supported by three sub-themes which are connecting lives, saving lives and empowering lives.

“Zimbabwe would be participating in the connecting lives sub-theme which resonates well will our re-engagement effort and our assertion that ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’.

“The sub-theme highlights our efforts in enriching communities through mutually beneficial partnerships, the power co-creation and how we are leveraging on technology to uplift our livelihoods,” he said.

Zimbabwe will be in an Organiser-Built Shared Pavilion where it will showcase through exhibitions, business to business meetings, commercial activities, cultural exchanges and wet demonstrations.

“We will also conduct side events such as trade and investment seminars, business forum and sampling African cuisines, among other activities to amplify our presence in Japan. Zimbabwe will also hold its National Day celebrations at this global event where a number of activities will be undertaken to market Zimbabwe,” he added.

Through the participation at the Expo, the country expects a 15 percent annual increase in tourist arrivals, a 10 percent annual increase in trade deals, a similar increase in registered investment deals, improved Brand Zimbabwe value, 20 new partnerships forged and learn from Japan and participating countries on latest best practice and technology in use in industry.

Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Satoshi Tanaka said, Japan has scheduled a number of planning meetings and events in order to facilitate and manage the flow of information.

“This platform is for participating countries to be updated in terms of preparations. Based on its extensive experience in hosting previous expos, Japan understands the challenges of developing countries, such that an assistance programme. 

“Covering the periods before, during, and after the Expo has been set up. The assistance will be in the form of financial assistance and technical support, to cover 80 to 100 countries.

“The Embassy will continue to pledge its support by working closely with ZimTrade including publicising the event in other provinces,” he said.

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