Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, Japanese ambassador to Nigeria has said that the international business community is now paying close attention to the potential of Nigeria more than ever.
Speaking at the on-going Lagos Trade fair, the ambassador reiterated the enormous potentials in the economy, population, natural resources, growing human capital and rich culture.
He said it was because of the understanding of the immense potential of the Nigerian economy that Japan has long deepened its economic relationship with Nigeria. “More than 80 years have already passed since Japan’s trade office, now the Japan External Trade Organization, JETRO, was opened in Lagos in 1939, preceding the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1960”.
At the trade fair, 33 Japanese companies compared 19 companies last year , are exhibiting their ‘Made in Japan’ products and technologies which the ambassador said it is a demonstration that Japanese businesses are beginning to see Nigeria as their place to be. “Japan is here to work with you to contribute to the economic diversification in Nigeria and to its future growth”.
Matsunaga Kazuyoshi however said that to truly achieve economic growth in Nigeria, trade and investment play an indispensable role. “They serve as the catalyst for job creation, higher productivity, capital access, learning and innovation, and expansion for technology spill overs
He sees Lagos as the gateway to attracting foreign investment into Nigeria, and “ the Lagos International Trade Fair 2023 will be a distinct showcase of the momentum for growth through trade and investment.
“Lagos is the most exciting commercial hub of Nigeria; Nigeria is the most robust economic hub in Africa; and Africa is and will be the hub of the international trade and investment. This Trade Fair exemplifies such strong ties between Lagos, Nigeria and the international communities”, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi said.
Also speaking to newsmen, Tokashi Oku, the managing director and trade commissioner of Japan External Trade Organization, JETRO there are 51 Japanese companies in Nigeria as both Nigeria and Japan are enjoying good trade relationship. “We are working with Nigerian companies to introduce more products into the country”, he said.
Guests, including the President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce, Michael Olawole Cole, his members, government representatives, Lai Mohammed, former Minister of Information and other participants were entertained with Japanese cultural dance at the Japan’s pavilion at the trade fair which has the theme, connecting business, creating value.
Speaking earlier, Michael Olawole Cole acknowledged the difficult period Nigeria is going through informed by many factors. He however said the challenges call for innovation, collaboration and togetherness to foster economic growth.