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UNIDO ITPO Tokyo celebrates its 40th Anniversary since establishment in 1981

UNIDO ITPO Tokyo celebrates its 40th Anniversary since establishment in 1981

In 2021, UNIDO’s Investment and Technology Promotion Office, Tokyo (ITPO Tokyo) celebrates the 40th anniversary of the opening of the office. During this period, we have been able to realize investment and technology transfer from Japan to many developing countries and emerging countries. This would not have been possible without the strong and varied support of stakeholders in Japan and recipient countries, such as Japanese and overseas industries, government and related agencies – especially Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) as well as universities and research institutions. This page looks back on the 40-Year history of our office and the efforts we have made over the years with our stakeholders.

40 Years of Activities

ITPO Tokyo was established in March 1981 based on an agreement concluded between UNIDO and the Government of Japan. Our role is to support sustainable economic development in developing and emerging countries and, in turn, the development of Japanese industry by promoting direct investment and technology transfer from Japan, as Japan has a great deal of experience, technology and know-how in industries and technological fields that are needed by developing and emerging countries.

Delegate Programme for investment opportunity of Ethiopia

Through the Delegate Programme, one of our main activities, we have invited about 320 government officials in charge of investment from 80 developing and emerging countries to Japan. During their weeks and months in Japan, they have worked with us at ITPO Tokyo to attract investment to their countries, holding investment promotion seminars, individual business meetings with Japanese companies, and visits to various manufacturing plants and offices.


Events and seminar being held online during COVID-19 pandemic

In particular, we have organized and attended about 5,900 focused business meetings between Japanese companies and developing and emerging countries (1995-2021). In addition, in cooperation with various organizations in Japan and abroad, we have sponsored and about 1,000 country-specific, region-specific, and theme-specific seminars and events (1998-2021).


Supporting UNIQLO’s production in Bangladesh

At these business meetings and events, in addition to providing basic information necessary for business, such as the political and economic situation, legal systems, and lifestyle and culture of each country, we have also provided specific information on investment promotion incentives and networks to encourage Japanese companies to invest overseas. As a result, about 160 direct investments have been realized to date.


Africa adviser 

Since 2013, ITPO Tokyo has also launched an advisory business support programme to assist Japanese companies entering the African market in order to link the rapid growth of Africa, known as the “last frontier,” with business opportunities for Japanese companies. With four African advisors working in Africa, we support more than 80 companies yearly with their overseas expansion projects.


Medical waste incinerator installed in Kenya

We also launched the Sustainable Technology Promotion Platform (STePP) in April 2019, which features outstanding technologies from Japanese companies in the fields of energy, environment, agribusiness, human health, and disaster countermeasures, and disseminates this information to developing and emerging countries through our website and exhibitions. As of October 2021, there were 120 registered technologies (103 companies), and the website has been accessed from over 140 countries.



Messages from our Stakeholders

Here are some of the messages we have received from stakeholders who have supported and cooperated with UNIDO ITPO Tokyo over the past 40 years.

“During the late 1980s and early 1990s, many Japanese companies shifted their production facilities from Japan to other countries including Bangladesh due to increasing production costs in Japan. UNIDO ITPO Tokyo played an important role at that time in supporting investments in Bangladesh from Japanese companies. Similarly, during the mid-2000s, many prominent Japanese companies related to garments and textiles established their business in Bangladesh. Again, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo’s support was behind their success. Moreover, support was also provided to organize many seminars/business meetings in Japan which featured ‘Bangladesh Investment’. I would like to mention here that UNIDO ITPO Tokyo has been involved with the promotion of Japanese investments into Bangladesh since its inception. Till now, the organization has been continuing to provide their supports. We expect this cooperation with UNIDO for the coming years.”

Mr. M. Jalalul Hai, CEO of HAISON International, Bangladesh


“I would like to express my deep appreciation on behalf of the Government of Colombia, on the occasion of the 40th year anniversary of UNIDO’s Investment and Technology Promotion Office in Tokyo.  I am glad to join this celebration by remarking your leadership and willingness over decades to work together with our country, especially for the support and friendship established with the Colombian Embassy and our investment promotional agency.  Recently, in spite of the pandemic, several activities have been accomplished such as online seminars and the delegate programme which introduced Japanese companies to Colombia´s investment environment. The collaboration with allies such as UNIDO has been essential to build a bridge between both countries and to encourage investors to look at Colombia as an opportunity. ”

H.E. Mr. Santiago Pardo Salguero, Ambassador of Colombia in Japan


“We would like to send our heartfelt congratulations for the 40th anniversary of the establishment of UNIDO Tokyo Office. In 2020 we had the honor to be selected and be a part of the Sustainable Technology Promotion Platform (STePP). This collaboration allowed us to promote and transfer our technology in the field of infection control to Uganda. In the future, we would like to further deepen our collaboration with your office and contribute to solving development issues in developing countries in terms of high value-added food processing and food hygiene promotion. We sincerely wish for the further development and the success of your office in the future.”

Mr. Takeo Hojo, Africa Business Development Sec., Global Operation Div., SARAYA Co., Ltd.


“On behalf of the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Tokyo, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of UNIDO’s Investment and Technology Promotion Office in Tokyo (ITPO Tokyo). During the past years with the assistance of ITPO Tokyo, we successfully arranged Delegate Programme, business seminars in different regions of Japan, including in Fukuoka, Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. These events brought business people of two countries closer and gave a chance to introduce new business opportunities and innovative technologies of Japan. On this very special occasion, we wish you all the success for many more years to come. And we hope to continue our fruitful cooperation in future.”

H.E. Mr. Mukhsinkhuja Abdurakhmonov, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Japan


“The celebration of the 40th anniversary of UNIDO’s Investment and Technology Promotion Office in Tokyo offers me the pleasant opportunity to extend to you, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Senegal, my warmest congratulations. The creation of this office, 4 decades ago, is a further illustration of the vision, efficiency and anticipatory spirit of Japanese development cooperation as well as of Japan’s ability to offer tailored solutions to the needs of developing countries. This 40th anniversary comes as Japan and Africa seek to place greater emphasis on economic cooperation and promotion of high-quality technology, particularly through the TICAD process. Fully aware of these challenges, UNIDO’s Investment and Technology Promotion Office in Tokyo, which has always been alongside African countries, continues its tireless efforts throughout Africa including in West Africa where it has deployed since 2019, an advisor who works successfully on promoting investments and technology from Japan. The Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) in Tokyo therefore deserves even greater support from UNIDO and the Government of Japan to enable it to continue to support, as it is currently doing very satisfactorily, Africa in its efforts to industrialize and transform the structure of its economy.”

H.E. Mr. Gorgui CISS, Ambassador of Senegal to Japan


“Congratulations on the 40th anniversary of the UNIDO ITPO Tokyo. UNIDO ITPO Tokyo has registered our company’s original technology: KINSEI Gasification Combustion System to Sustainable Technology Promotion Platform (STePP). In addition to valuable opportunities such as RIO+20, acceptance of inspection teams and presentations at seminars, the technology demonstration project of our medical waste incinerator in Kenya has achieved successful results for COVID infection control. We would like to contribute to solving problems in developing countries in the field of waste management, reduction of environmental load and energy problems. We wish UNIDO ITPO Tokyo for further prosperity and success in the future.”

Mr. Masamoto Kaneko, President, KINSEI SANGYO CO.,LTD.


Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest), would wish to convey its warmest congratulations tothe UNIDO ITPO Tokyo on the occasion of its 40th anniversary since inception. KenInvest is happy to be associated with UNIDO ITPO Tokyo through its delegate program which has enabled KenInvest to promote investment opportunities in kenya available to Japanese investors as per “its mandate to promote direct investment and technology transfer from Japan and to foster international outreach of Japanese industries”. Built on its solid foundation, ITPO Tokyo has continued to make remarkable contributions to Kenya’s development agenda through well organized and targeted visits to Japanese investors some of which have since established presence in Kenya. These companies have created many jobs for Kenyans, promoted transfer of technology and earned foreign exchange for the country among other things. Further, we wish to express our commitment to continue our partnership and collaboration with ITPO Tokyo. As you celebrate 40th anniversary, we would like to express our gratitude to all UNIDO ITPO Tokyo fraternity and wish you continued success in the years to come.

Mr. Guracha Adi, General Manager, Investor Services, Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest)
Ms. Heather Munyao,  Investment Promotion officer, Investment Promotion, Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) 


On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, I would like to express my deep gratitude to all teams with whom I have been working since 1997, my first experience delegate for the Foreign Investments Department of the Kingdom of Morocco. Thanks to the outstanding cooperation of UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, several Japanese companies decided to invest in Morocco, particularly in automotive industry and energy sector. This tremendous joint effort leads to set up more than 70 companies that creates more than 50,000 new jobs in comparison with a very weak figure at the end of the 90’s. My collaboration with UNIDO ITPO Tokyo never sopped even when I joined in 2009 The Tangier Mediterranean Special Agency and in 2013 the Midparc Casablanca Free Zone. The support to promote aerospace industry in Morocco is our new common challenge.”

Mr. Aref Hassani, Managing Director, Midparc – Casablanca Free Zone


*More messages from stakeholders will be added soon.

40 Years in Pictures

*Photos in the section will be added or changed from time to time.