Optimism abound in Africa-Japan future investment collaboration

DTIMore opportunities for investment exist in Africa for Japan if the recently concluded African Continental Free Trade Area agreement that is geared towards future investment collaboration and industrialisation for the African market is anything to go by

The above statement was said by the South African deputy minister of trade and industry, Bulelani Magwanishe at the end of a week-long trip to Tokyo. The minister held bilateral meetings with the chairman of the Japan-African union parliamentary friendship league, Ichiro Aisawa, and a member of the house of representatives in Japan, Itoshi Kitawada.

Magwanishe was in Japan to attend the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) VII ministerial meeting. Delegates at the meeting acknowledged that addressing the challenges facing Africa would require transformation of economic base and moving towards diversification and industrialisation. This could be done through appropriate infrastructural investment in energy sources, science, technology, innovations and human capital that would support the development of value-chains in agriculture and extractive activities.

Magwanishe, said, “Although South Africa and Japan maintain good trade relations, there is room for improvement as South Africa needs to industrialise more to ensure trade is mutually beneficial given that we still export primary products to Japan. We, therefore, called upon Japanese companies that attended the 1st Japan-Africa Public-Private Economic Forum to convert their pledges into investments to increase our trade base.”

By the end of 2017, Japan was South Africa’s third largest trading partner in the world after China and the US. Total trade between South Africa and Japan has been about US$6.43bn over the past five years. During this period, South Africa’s exports to Japan slightly increased from US$3.73bn in 2013 to US$3.80bn in 2017 whereas South Africa’s imports from Japan declined from US$2.69bn to US$2.62bn in the same period.

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