A Somali delegation led by H.E. Abdullahi Sheikh Ali, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, has paid a week-long (10 to 18 of July) official visit to Japan. The delegation was welcomed most cordially by their counterparts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japanese International Cooperation Agency and other senior officials.

The Federal Government of Somalia and the Government of Japan welcome the cordial relations between their respective countries, and have reaffirmed their shared commitment to strengthen the diplomatic, commercial and developmental ties between the two countries.

Minister Abudullahi praised the government of Japan as particular and valued friend of Somalia that has been at the forefront of international efforts to assist Somalia in their endeavor to recover from the devastation it has suffered in recent years.

Deputy Minister, Abdullahi, welcomed and indeed praised Japan’s proactive contribution to world peace, development and prosperity. He pointed out that Somalia is a direct beneficiary of that policy, and in that regard expressed his appreciation for the support given by the Japanese government to the Somali Police Force.

The Somali delegation made a presentation of the key areas in which assistance from Japan could make a meaningful contribution to the developmental efforts and programs, which the Somali government has embarked upon. These include infrastructure projects; capacity building; youth employment training, and ABE Initiative scholarships. In response the Japanese officials promised to give serious considerations to the requirements presented by the Somali delegation and would devise ways and means of contributing to the developmental programs here highlighted.

The officials of both countries emphasized the importance of promoting bilateral trade and commerce between the two countries. On her part Somalia would welcome, and is indeed ready to provide excellent investment opportunities for Japanese businesses in areas as diverse as telecommunication, fisheries, energy, and mining. Additionally, small and medium sized enterprises in Somalia that deal with products indirectly imported from Japan could establish trading and commercial links directly with Japanese businesses.

In conclusion the meeting has ended successfully with mutual understanding of the importance of the relationship between the two countries. Once more Minister Abdullahi thanked the government of Japan for its ongoing assistance to Somalia, while the Japanese side expressed full appreciation of their partnership with Somalia; a partnership that will grow and prosper appreciably in the future.