South Africa, Japan to push investment

5 June 2013

South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Japan’s Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd have signed a cooperation agreement to promote and develop economic and industrial co-operation between the two countries.

The agreement was signed in Tokyo on Tuesday during South African President Jacob Zuma’s official visit to the Asian country.

Trade and Industry Deputy Director-General Pumla Ncapayi said that, in terms of the agreement, the DTI and Mizuho would pool their information resources in order to promote investment development between South African and Japanese companies.

“A framework is to be established between us and Mizuho to discuss the most effective means by which to execute the types of co-operation outlined herein,” Ncapayi said in a statment.

Mizuho CEO Yasuhiro Sato said that agreement would benefit Japanese businesses doing business in South Africa.

“We will support Japanese companies as they expand their businesses into South Africa, support the establishment of joint ventures with local businesses, and strengthen support in fields such as mergers and acquisitions,” Sato said.

The agreement with Mizuho is the third agreement the DTI has signed with Japanese institutions this year, following agreements with the Japan External Trade Organization and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.

Japan is South Africa’s third-largest export destination and fifth-largest source of imports. Japanese direct investment in South Africa has been steadily increasing in recent years, amounting to nearly R20-billion in 2010.

Addressing the South Africa-Japanese Business Forum in Tokyo on Tuesday, President Zuma said there were 110 Japanese companies currently doing business South Africa, in the process generating more than 150 000 jobs.

Zuma, who also addressed the Japan National Press Club on Tuesday, said Japanese companies were also actively participating in South Africa’s infrastructure programmes, particularly in the rail sector.

“Of late, we have also witnessed keen interest from Japanese banks to support their clients on the ground in South Africa. This is a very encouraging sign.”

Zuma later met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his official residence in Tokyo.

SAinfo reporter and