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Thursday, 25 August 2011

Japan and UNIDO to increase cooperation

TOKYO, 25 August 2011 – Areas of further cooperation with the Government of Japan and other key stakeholders, and preparations for a Green Industry Conference in November were discussed during a mission by the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Kandeh K. Yumkella, to Tokyo that ended today.

During the three-day trip, Yumkella met with the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Yutaka Banno, and the Deputy Vice-Minister and Director-General for Foreign Policy, Koji Tsuruoka, in the Foreign Ministry, as well as the Senior Vice-Minister of Trade and Industry, Tadahiro Matsushita, in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.  Meetings were also held with senior representatives of the business sector, as well as the House of Representatives.

Following a discussion with the Foreign Ministry’s Director-General for Global Issues, Kenji Hiramatsu, on the scope for enhanced cooperation between UNIDO and Japan, Yumkella said that “UNIDO attaches great value to its historically close cooperation with Japan, and welcomes the opportunity that this meeting has provided for a further strengthening of this partnership. As we look to the future, there are many important areas in which the level of cooperation with Japan can be expanded with a view to supporting an acceleration of sustainable industrial development in developing countries and transition economies”.

“The discussions with our Japanese counterrparts have helped identify a number of such areas, including issues related to green growth and sustainable industrial development, joint efforts in support of Africa's development, and the promotion of public-private partnerships for development.  Through closer cooperation in these areas, UNIDO expects to significantly enhance the impact of its development services by drawing more effectively on the industrial experience, expertise and the transformative technologies of Japan,” said Yumkella.

A concrete example of the existing close partnership between Japan and UNIDO is the Tokyo Green Industry Conference to be held from 16 to 18 November.  The event will be co-organized by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and UNIDO, and will bring together government officials as well as representatives of the private sector from 25 countries. The INCHEM environmental technology exhibition organized in parallel to the conference will attract over 60 thousand visitors.

Director-General Yumkella said that “the Tokyo Green Industry Conference will help Japan, a key supporter of UNIDO, focus on resolving the energy and environment-related problems that developing and emerging economies are facing”, adding that the international event “will also help spread environmentally-friendly, green industrial technologies and products that Japan is well-known for in the world”.

In the framework of the Tokyo Green Industry Conference, UNIDO will also bring together representatives of the 21 Asian developing countries that agreed in 2009 in Manila to foster Green Industry development. They will discuss achievements and draw lessons to take forward to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio in June 2012, also known as Rio+20, as a follow up to the 1992 Rio Summit.

Green Industry is a two pronged agenda for green growth driven by the manufacturing sector.

"Green Industry is about making sure all enterprises work to minimize their consumption of natural resources, including energy, while also reducing emissions and waste," said Yumkella adding that "new industries need to be created to deliver environmental goods and services, such as waste recycling, renewable energy and water treatment".

Both sides noted that promoting the development and spread of renewable energy and environmental technology were crucial to the realization of a Green Economy, one of the main themes of Rio+20 summit.

The importance of environmental technology, and in particular its increased dissemination to developing countries, was also one of the issues discussed by Yumkella with representatives of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, Keizai Doyukai, led by its senior executive vice-president and chairman of its Africa Committee, Mamoru Sekiyama, who is also a member of the board of the Marubeni Corporation. 

The discussions also addressed the scope for enhanced partnerships between UNIDO and the private sector of Japan in promoting industrial development, inter alia through public-private partnerships and increased flows of private investment and trade.

UNIDO has been implementing a range of projects funded by Japan that focus on human security.

UNIDO also works closely with Japan on a range of environment-related areas, particularly the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion.

In December 2010, the Government of Japan announced that it will fund UNIDO projects worth a total of over USD 10.6 million in Africa, including in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan, as well as in Afghanistan. The projects will provide vocational training and equipment for productive activities to help increase employment opportunities and income generation to vulnerable groups, especially those affected by natural disasters.

For more information about UNIDO, please contact:

Mikhail Evstafyev
UNIDO Advocacy and Communication Coordinator
Telephone: (+43-1)-26026-5021
Mobile: +43-699-1459-7329
E-mail