SA, Japan look to build on partnerships

15 May 2013

South Africa is looking to build on the recent levels of interest and investment from Japanese companies as part of the country’s involvement in the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) taking place in Japan in June.

South Africa has seen increased interest from Japanese companies and banks looking to use the country as a springboard into the rest of Africa, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) director-general Lionel October said at a pre-TICAD seminar in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“Our collaboration with the international community, especially Japan, is designed to help us achieve inclusive growth, sustainable development and a prosperous South Africa,” October said.

“Japan has been a long-standing investor in South Africa and a major investor in the African continent. In 2011, South Africa managed to attract investments worth $312-million from Toyota and Kansai Paint.”

There are currently over 110 Japanese firms operating in South Africa.

“These companies have created over 150 000 jobs in the country and therefore Japan is looking to increase cooperations assistance in Africa,” said the Japanese Ambassador to South Africa Yutaka Yoshizawa.

TICAD was established in 1993 to promote high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners.

It is hosted in Tokyo every five years, co-sponsored by the Japanese government, the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme, the United Nation’s Office of the Special Advisor on Africa and the Global Coalition for Africa.

This year’s conference will take place from 1 to 3 June, and will feature seminars by the DTI to create awareness of the business climate and opportunities in South Africa.

SAinfo reporter