[1st December 2012]

STUDY TOUR TO EHIME PREFECTURE BY H.E. THE AMBASSADOR

H.E Amb. Ogutu with Vice Governor of Ehime Prefecture, Hon. Keji Joko

On 22nd November, 2012, H.E Ambassador Benson H.O. Ogutu undertook a study tour to Ehime Prefecture to explore possible areas of collaboration between Kenya and the Ehime Prefecture. During his visit, the Ambassador was warmly received and hosted by both Honorable Keiji Joko, the Vice Governor of Ehime Metropolitan and Mr. Yoshitake Yamaguchi, Vice Mayor of the Prefectural Capital City; Matsuyama. Meetings were also held with other officials of the Local Authorities and Private sector Executives.

The Ehime Prefecture is predominantly an agricultural producing region, popularly known for the production of oranges, roses, and purls. Most importantly, the Prefecture prides itself in the production of highest quality and quantity of fish in Japan. These are economic activities akin to Kenya's and thus easily enabled the team to exchange views on matters of mutual interest particularly in areas of Agriculture and Fisheries.

In this regard, the Ambassador was taken on a conducted tour of the Kusuda Shoten, one of the leading Fisheries Processing Factory, in the Prefecture, during which he was apprised on the dynamics of the fishing industry in the region. It was noted that this is a key area that the Kenyan Fisheries industry could borrow a lot from in terms of experiences and best practices in order to enhance sustainable production in the country.

H.E. the Ambassador lauded Japan for the help it has extended to Kenya particularly in terms of infrastructure and energy development. He further commended the move by Japan to start importing the fresh cut Kenyan Flowers directly from Kenya, which enables the Japanese market to enjoy the long shelf life of the flowers.

He further encouraged the Japanese in the region to explore the immense investment opportunities in Kenya on private Public Partnership Framework. Particular areas of interest include: infrastructure development, value addition in areas of agro-processing & manufacturing, and tourism. The Agricultural sector being the mainstay of the Kenyan economy, he underscored that investment in this area could significantly improve a larger nation's economy translating to improved living standards of the majority of Kenyans who derive their livelihoods thereof.

In conclusion of the tour, the Ambassador and his hosts agreed to consolidate close working relations in pursuit to identify relevant key stakeholders from both sides, to expedite the collaboration initiatives in the aforementioned areas of mutual interest.

Visiting the Office of the Vice Mayor of Matsuyama:
Left-Right: Mr. Yoshitake Yamaguchi; Vice Mayor, of Matsuyama, Amb. Benson Ogutu; Kenya Embassy, Ms Sanae Tanaka; Matsuyama International centre, Mr. Ryoji Manabe and Ms.Eri Osakabe; Sieg Company Ltd.

H.E. Amb. Ogutu with Mr. Kusuda; President Kusuda Fishery Processing Factory

Inside Kusuda Fish Processing Factory

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