Trade volume between Japan and Nigeria has reached a record $5.28 billion, the Trade Commissioner and Managing Director, Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Mr. Taku Miyazaki, has said. He said Japanese companies were keen on expanding their businesses in the country with high technology, According to The Nation
Miyazaki urged the government to make the environment conducive for Japanese companies to operate. He said some of the draw backs that may deter would-be investors from his country are poor infrastructure such as electricity as many of the prospective investors are manufacturers who are also desirous of good roads, good regulatory environment, efficient judicial system, attractive import regulatory environment and security of lives and investment.
“Nigeria ordinarily should be the toast of investors if the necessary things are put in place especially in terms of effective and efficient infrastructure provision such as electricity, motorable roads, effective and consistent regulatory authorities, and standardisation that will discourage the importation of fake and cheap products from other Asian countries,” he said.
He said last year, both import from Japan to Nigeria and export from Nigeria to Japan increased significantly. According to him, import from Japan mainly consisted of machinery, steel products and vehicles valued at about $728 million, representing 21.0 per cent more than 2013 figure.
On the other hand, export from Nigeria to Japan, which was dominated by natural gas and a few non-oil products especially sesame seeds, also increased from 36.8 per cent to nearly $4.5 billion last year. He said JETRO has committed 60 years of its life to Nigeria,strengthening bilateral economic relationship between the two nations.
Miyazaki said Japanese companies in Nigeria are known for their high quality products and are attracted to the country by her population, which is in the excess of 170 million as well as her large market.
He identified some of the Japanese companies operating in Nigeria to include Nissan, a giant car manufacturer with a manufacturing plant that took off last year; Honda, which started in July local assembling but with a history of over 20 years presence in Nigeria, and Isuzu that recently announced plans for local manufacturing by second quarter of next year.
The Trade Commissioner said the interest of his home government is much elucidated with the large presence of companies in the recently concluded Lagos International Trade Fair where the Japanese Pavilion featured 24 companies that included participants from Japan as well as their local representative agents in fields such as food, vehicles, transportation, machinery, motorcycles, auto parts and stationery including home appliances.
Others are musical instruments, power generators, security devices, industrial equipment, electrical tools, office equipment and sewing machines. He stated that an increasing number of Japanese companies are keen to expand their businesses in Nigeria, he said.
On how Japanese companies intend to help Nigeria tackle counterfeiting, he said the Japanese Government is taking the advocacy seriously and has subsequently organised seminars, conferences and workshops in the bid to curb the faking of Japanese brands in China, for instance.