Japan-Liberia Dialogue a Milestone

first_imgForeign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan has said that the newly established Japan-Liberia Business and Investment Dialogue marked a milestone and a major turning point in Liberia’s drive for Economic and Development Diplomacy.Giving the official opening remarks of the dialogue at the C. Cecil Dennis auditorium at the Foreign Affairs Ministry yesterday in Monrovia, Minister Ngafuan told the audience: “We have come to concretize our commitment to the building of a vibrant private sector in Liberia. We are here to discuss how to deepen bilateral trade to practical presentations and exchanges of ideas to foster trade and investment.”The establishment of the Japan-Liberia Dialogue is the result of bilateral discussions held between President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Japanese Prime Minister Abe last year,  during the fifth Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD V) held in Japan. This was where the idea of a dialogue was given birth. Both leaders discussed the importance of investment in Liberia and agreed to initiate a Policy Dialogue between the two governments.The Dialogue brought together participants from the Japanese Business sector, led by Japanese Ambassador to Liberia, Naoto Nikai, and officials of the Liberian Government and Liberia’s private sector executives led by Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan. Prominent amongst the executives of the Japanese business delegation was Mr. Sachio Kaneki, Senior Vice President of Mitsubishi Corporation.Minister Ngafuan, in his opening speech, described the Dialogue as critical to the restoration of direct trade and investment between the two countries which would serve as a fulcrum from people to people relationship as well as business to business partnership.He stressed the importance of the Dialogue which is in line with Liberia’s Agenda for Transformation as Japan is one Liberia’s longest standing partners in the Asian region and was one of the first countries to resume diplomatic ties to Liberia after the election of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.The Liberian Foreign Minister then admonished participants to focus on relevant issues that will lead to the increase in bilateral cooperation, increased trade volume and make Liberia a strategic trading partner to Japan.The Chief Liberian diplomat hailed many Japanese contributions to Liberia, ranging from power to infrastructural developments, including the donation of 15,000 metric tons of petroleum products, the contribution of a 10 megawatts of power to the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), the ongoing construction of the Somalia Drive, the Japanese Food Aid and the financing of major projects in the country, among others.Minister Ngafuan  urged Liberian and Japanese business executives to identify areas of common interests and activities within the framework of business and investment promotions.“Lastly,’ he asserted, “in  furtherance of our ties and as a way to cement our cherished relationship with Japan, we look forward to the promised reopening of the Japanese Embassy in Monrovia which will further bolster the friendship and ties between Liberia and Japan and will ease the process of acquiring visas and boost trade and investment between our two countries.”The Senior Vice President of Mitsubishi Corporation Mr. Kaneki, lauded both governments for what he called a remarkable decision that brought together the private sector from each country.While encouraging his colleagues at the occasion to explore new investment opportunities in Liberia, Mr. Kaneki noted that the economic relationship between Liberia and Japan is not new: “In Japan, Liberia has been known as the most famous country for business registration.”He also spoke profoundly of Liberia’s maritime program, noting that it has hundreds of ships flying the Liberian flag which covers about 12.5% of total operating ships in the world.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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CATHAL’S DONEGAL GAA BLOG: STAR PERFORMANCES ALL ROUND IN GALWAY

first_imgBY CATHAL MacSUIBHNE in GALWAY: For the second week in succession Donegal steamrolled inferior opposition and they already look far too good for Division Two football.While the swagger present in Portlaoise last week wasn’t quite as obvious today, Jim McGuinness’ men were proficient in how they went about their business and bagged another pair of league points in the process.Even before the ball was thrown in, the gulf in class and gap in professionalism of both teams was evident. The Donegal players arrived out on the field at Pearse Stadium forty minutes before throw-in to undergo their warm up routine – and they all looked the part decked out in their newly acquired O’Neills gear. Their drills had already been set up, cones laid out and the players went about their work before retreating to the dressing room for final words from their mentors. Galway on the other hand, only took the field twenty minutes before the start of the game and their preparation lacked the efficiency and organisation of their counterparts.A few handling errors by his men in the drills had McGuinness barking orders and demanding more of his troops. At the other end the hosts looked liked they had come for a training session.When the action got underway, Donegal adapted to the conditions better and implemented their running game whilst playing against the strong breeze blowing in from the Promenade in Salthill. Galway, despite having the stiff wind at their backs, were reluctant to shoot from distance and they made hard work of the scores that came their way.Once Colm McFadden goaled after a quarter of an hour, following a wonderful sweeping move that started in the opposite corner of the field, it gave his team a cushion that was never going to be threatened. Donegal’s play was patient, smart and precise – they were quite happy to take numerous passes before the correct run was made and then they attacked the central channel of the home defence. Having only passed a pitch inspection this morning, the recent wet weather left the sod extremely soft today and both teams will be feeling it in their legs tonight. The state of the pitch made it particularly difficult for the forwards – several times decent passes were played in front of them but with little or no bounce off the soft turf many of these were spilt and ended up in the hands of defenders.They stuck at it though and the starting full-forward line of McFadden, Michael Murphy and Dermot Molloy posted 1-10 of the 1-16 Donegal total. Add in Patrick McBrearty’s three fine points from play after his introduction from the bench and there is real quality in Donegal’s forward play right now. They’re all playing with confidence, evidenced by McFadden’s audacious effort to lob the Galway netminder Manus Breathnach after he left his goal unguarded in coming out to intercept a pass destined for Captain Murphy.There’s plenty of confidence amongst the supporters at present too, with a huge Donegal faithful in attendance today and indeed at times it seemed as if we outnumbered the locals.While Donegal got a lot of joy from attacking centrally, there was no such luck for Galway going in the opposite direction as they met Leo McLoone putting in a masterclass at centre-back. He was as solid as a rock for the seventy minutes, breaking up plenty of opposition attacks and getting forward when the chance arose as well. Pound for pound he’s one of the squad’s leading ball players and appears to have made the number six jersey his own with Karl Lacey being used in the full-back line of late. Lacey was initially given marking duties on James Kavanagh, the former Kildare star who transferred to the maroon and white this year. Kavanagh though dropped deep and played much of the game at midfield, a strange call by the management given his prowess in front of the posts.Donegal’s other corner back, Ryan McHugh, had a good day at the office and is certainly stating his case for inclusion come the summer. His burst of pace and economy while in possession make him a solid option for numerous positions on the field and showed he can score too, firing over early in the second period. Another who impressed was Martin McElhinney, who played at midfield partnering Rory Kavanagh in the middle in the first half and then the returning Neil Gallagher in the second. McElhinney’s strong, direct running has always been a big part of his game but his primary ball winning ability is improving with every outing and his all-round game today was excellent.With the likes of McElhinney,the aforementioned McHugh and half forward Odhrán MacNiallais all revelling in their starting roles, the league is already proving very useful for the team as regards improving the strength of the squad. That will be tested in three weeks time when Donegal face into what will most likely be the toughest game in the division as Ulster Champions Monaghan come to O’Donnell Park. There will certainly be a bit of spice in that one after the events in Clones last July and at this rate it might well be a dress rehearsal for a league decider in Croke Park come April.While Donegal’s start has been nothing but impressive, the visit of the Farney men will tell us a lot about how the team is shaping up and will be a more accurate barometer of what awaits over the course of the year.CATHAL’S DONEGAL GAA BLOG: STAR PERFORMANCES ALL ROUND IN GALWAY was last modified: February 10th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CATHAL MACSUIBHNE’S GAA DIARYdonegalGalwaylast_img read more

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