UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, together with the Embassy of Uganda, hosted the “Uganda-Japan Business Forum” on December 1, 2022, at the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Shibuya, Tokyo, on the occasion of the visit of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja. The forum featured speeches and panel discussions on economic recovery and corporate resilience through sustainable business partnerships and was attended by about 100 persons from Japanese companies considering expansion into Uganda.
Mr. Ferda Gelegen, Officer in Charge of UNIDO ITPO Tokyo and MC, opened the event by welcoming the Rt. Honorable Robinah Nabbanja and her delegation as well as all speakers and participants. In the opening remarks, H.E. Ms. Tophace Kaahwa, Ambassador of the Republic of Uganda to Japan, Mr. Nobuhiko Sasaki, Chairman and CEO, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and Mr. Shinichi Nakatani, State Minister, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), all promised to strengthen the partnership between Japan and Uganda and to support business.
In the keynote speech, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja, Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda, highlighted agriculture, processing of agricultural products, energy, and iron as important future sectors in Uganda, noting that although bilateral relations between Uganda and Japan are strong, trade and investment by the private sectors of both countries in each other’s countries are still insufficient. She then emphasized “economic recovery and corporate resilience through sustainable business” as a theme for collaboration and stated that she would like to achieve growth together.
In the presentation session that followed, Tim Kibira, CEO of Blue Banana Tree Ltd., noted with hope that the tourism business, which has been affected by the COVID-19, is now recovering, and stressed the importance of building a sustainable business foundation, “I hope that business partners in Japan and Uganda will proceed with their business with values and visions in their minds.”
In addition, Robert Mukiza, Director General of the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), mentioned that Uganda has experienced significant economic growth over the past 30 years and introduced successful business projects such as railroad, cement, and coffee projects, Japanese company Saraya Co., Ltd.’s sanitizer, and COTS LTD.’s Japanese restaurant “YAMASEN”. Mr. Hez Kimoomi Alinda, Executive Director of the Uganda Free Zone Authority (UFZA), stressed that mutual respect and understanding of the cultural differences between the two countries is essential for the smooth development of new business.
In the panel session, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja, Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda, Amb. Kazuaki Kameda, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Uganda in Sapporo, Mr. Hez Kimoomi Alinda, Chief Executive Director of UFZA, and Mr. Tatsumasa Oku, Managing Director, Smileyearth Corporation, took the stage to discuss starting new businesses in Uganda, and future cooperation between the two countries. Finally, Dr. Ian Karusigarira, Lecturer, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), concluded the seminar by stating that “sustainable business and investment is what is needed now”. In the networking session after the seminar, Ugandan coffee was served and participants actively interacted with the Ugandan panelists in a networking session.
Date: 1 December 2022 (Thu)
Time: Forum: 14:30-17:00, Reception and Networking: 17:00-18:00 (JST)
Venue: Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, B2 floor
(26-1 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8512)
Organized by: UNIDO ITPO Tokyo and the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda in Japan
Language: English-Japanese with simultaneous translation
Participation: Free of charge
Mr. Ferda Gelegen, Officer in Charge, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo
14:30 – 14:35 Opening Remarks
H.E. Ms. Tophace Kaahwa, Ambassador of the Republic of Uganda to Japan
14:35 – 14:40 Remarks
Mr. Nobuhiko Sasaki, Chairman and CEO, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
14:40 – 14:45 Remarks
Mr. Shinichi Nakatani, State Minister, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
14:45 – 15:00 Keynote Speech
Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja, Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda
15:00 – 15:10 Video: Investment Project in Uganda
Presentation Session: Bolstering Business Partnership and Investments between Uganda and Japan
15:10 – 15:20 Introductory Remarks
Mr. Tim Kibira, CEO, Blue Banana Tree Ltd.
15:20 – 15:30 Presentation: Investment in Uganda
Mr. Robert Mukiza, Director General, Uganda Investment Authority (UIA)
15:30 – 15:40 Presentation: Free Zones in Uganda
Mr. Hez Kimoomi Alinda, Executive Director, Uganda Free Zone Authority (UFZA) *Pleae download the presentation material from here
15:40 – 15:55 Q&A
15:55 – 16:10 Coffee Break / Video (Uganda Tourism – Explore Uganda)
Panel Discussion Session: Doing Business in Uganda and Facilitating Growth of Partnership and Investment between Uganda and Japan
16:10 – 16:15 Introductory Remarks by the Moderator
Amb. Elly Kafeero Kamahungye, Director, Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uganda
16:15 – 16:50 Panel Discussion
・Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja, Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda
・Amb. Kazuaki Kameda, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Uganda in Sapporo
・Mr. Hez Kimoomi Alinda, Chief Executive Director, Uganda Free Zone Authority (UFZA)
・Mr. Tatsumasa Oku, Managing Director, Smileyearth Corporation
Take-aways and Wrap-up
16:50 – 17:00 Take-aways and Wrap-up
Dr. Ian Karusigarira, Lecturer, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Japan
Reception & Networking
17:00 – 18:00 Reception & Networking
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Murakami / Ms. Fukuyama / Ms. Matsumoto, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo