November 18, 2016
Opening remarks by Mr. Kitaoka
On November 1, 2016, JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka gave one of the opening addresses in Tokyo at the "Japan-LAC Business Forum" organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Other speakers included high-profile individuals from the public and private sectors, including IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno and Vice Minister Masatsugu Asakawa of Japan’s Ministry of Finance. The topic of discussion was approaches to strengthen business relations between Japan and the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region.
In his remarks, President Kitaoka touched on the rising expectations for private investment and the increasing need for advanced technology in the LAC region. Calling for Japanese companies to take a higher level of interest and participation in business development in the region, he also stressed that JICA would provide proactive support for such initiatives. President Kitaoka further affirmed that JICA will support quality growth in the region utilizing Japanese knowledge and technology in collaboration with key partners, including the Japanese diaspora, focusing on the improvement of economic infrastructure and responding to global issues such as climate change and disaster risk management.
Participating as a panelist in the "Quality Infrastructure Investment" session, JICA Senior Vice President Hidetoshi Irigaki stressed the concept of "quality" in infrastructure investment. He explained that elements related to quality such as “inclusiveness," "sustainability,” and “resiliency,” are crucial to ensuring the expected impact in development projects. He also introduced JICA’s efforts for promoting “quality infrastructure investment” in the LAC region. Examples he provided included Co-financing for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CORE), and financial and technical cooperation assistance that support the formation and implementation of public-private partnership projects.
JICA and the IDB are actively cooperating in priority areas that the two institutions share such as climate change and quality infrastructure investment. In April 2016, they incorporated “quality infrastructure investment” as a part of CORE’s objectives and expanded the framework of CORE’s operations. JICA, along with development partners such as the IDB and the private sector, will continue to work towards sustainable development of the LAC region through "quality infrastructure investment.”