• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Japanese firms eye greater investment in Nigeria amid economic recovery


Japan wants to take advantage of Nigeria’s economic recovery to boost its business with Africa’s biggest market, the Japanese External Trade Organisation (JETRO) said Tuesday, ahead of the 2019 International Lagos Trade Fair where 37 firms from the Asian country would be exhibiting their products and technologies.

JETRO, a government organisation that promotes mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world, would be collaborating with the Japanese Embassy to exploit the Lagos Trade Fair for promoting investments between the two countries.

“Japanese firms create jobs, educate staff, transfer technology and share values of Japanese craftsmanship, which is key to agenda of the federal government and its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP),” said Shigeyo Nishizawa, trade commissioner/managing director of JETRO in Lagos.

The move to boost bilateral follows an increase in the number of Japanese–affiliated firms in Nigeria to 42 in 2018, double of 2014 figure, underscoring the country’s interest in Nigeria.

According to the Lagos-based Japanese organisation, export from Japan into Nigeria in 2018 rose 2.3 percent to $328 million while exports from Nigeria to Japan also rose 17 percent to $922 million.

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While vehicles (20.7%), steel products (16.7%), and chemical products (11.3%) were Nigeria’s biggest import from Japan in 2018, oil and gas (77.6%) and non-ferrous metals (15.4%) were Nigeria’s major exports to Japan, in turn, data from JETRO shows.

Nishizawa said Japan would support Nigeria’s manufacturing sector with quality inputs so the country can improve its exports.

At the trade fair expected to hold from November 1 through November 10, Japanese agents and their local distributors are expected to showcase products like brands of motorbikes from Honda, Yamaha and motor brands from Mitsubishi, Toyota, Isuzu and Suzuki.

Other products such as cameras and multifunctioning printing machine of Canon, Sharp and Brother would be expected to boost Japan’s export as well as construction materials such as Plascon Paint and Alteco adhesive.

The Japan Pavilion this year would feature a “Made in Japan, Made for Women” corner as the Asian economy would also be exhibiting products and services that would help women access more fashionable and convenient items including cosmetics and hair wigs, which are rising items on Nigeria’s demand from Japan according to JETRO.

Brands like Kaneka and Denka, the suppliers of Xpression and Darling, are already leading hair manufacturers in Africa.

Food and beverages and electronics makers would also be at the trade fair, with names like Briscoe Nigeria plc, Olam Sanyo Foods, Tomoe engineering, and Ajinomoto among the exhibitors.

JETRO started its activities in Nigeria in 1955 and is recently focusing on promoting investment and facilitating bilateral trade between Nigeria and Japan.

The 10-day trade fair event in Lagos next month would mark JETRO’s sixth-year participation and would be aimed at presenting the quality and reliability of the Japanese brand to the Nigerian market.