Opening Remarks by Prime Minister Junichiro KOIZUMI
at the TICAD Asia-Africa Trade and Investment Conference

November 1, 2004, Tokyo

Your Excellency Chief Olusegun OBASANJO, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Your Excellency Mr. Mwai KIBAKI, President of the Republic of Kenya,
Our friends from Africa and Asia,

Welcome back to TICAD. You may recall that at TICAD III last year, I concluded my keynote speech by saying that "African winds are blowing in Tokyo." I am delighted that those winds have come back to Tokyo, bringing African and Asian friends together once again.

TICAD has steadily promoted cooperation between Africa and Asia. In the last half century, Asia achieved unprecedented economic growth which was once dubbed the "East Asian Miracle." In fact, this was not a miracle but the fruit of tireless efforts by the Asian people. The purpose of Asia-Africa cooperation is to share and make use of the Asian experiences for African development.

Trade and investment are primarily activities of private actors. At the same time, government's role is indispensable for ensuring that the trade and investment lead to economic growth and result in poverty reduction. This is clear from the experiences of Asian countries including Japan. At this conference, Japan will present four key concepts for promoting trade and investment for African development;

  • first, the "formulation of an appropriate policy" for establishing an industrial foundation;
  • second, "product development" with a focus on improving quality to increase competitiveness;
  • third, the "empowerment of small and medium-size local enterprises" generating income and employment in local communities; and
  • fourth, the "promotion of a social contribution by private enterprises" prompting equitable growth.

Japan will stand by those African countries that make efforts consistent with these concepts.

Africa is a vital member of the international community. There is no stability and prosperity in the world unless the issues of Africa are resolved. African participation is crucial for meeting the challenges faced by the international community, including the need to reform and strengthen the United Nations.

We see that Africa is ready to stand on its own feet and take a major step forward with the African Union and NEPAD as the vehicles for further development. The most important role of TICAD today is to gather ideas of collaboration between Africa and Asia. TICAD will facilitate various interactions by both the public and private sectors. In order to respond to the ongoing dynamic development in Africa, TICAD will continue to evolve and advance hand in hand with Africa. I am confident that this conference will help promote prosperous trade and investment between Africa and Asia, and move the TICAD process forward toward a bright future.

Thank you very much.

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