The number of Japanese affiliated companies in Nigeria has doubled in the last four years, growing from 21 in 2014 to 42 last year. This shows Japan’s strong interests in the country’s market.
Trade Commissioner/Managing Director of Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Mr. Shigeyo Nishizawa, attributed this to Nigeria’s economic recovery as well as increase in foreign investments.
He said Japanese firms have, therefore, taken a huge advantage of this economic recovery to invest by expanding their businesses in Africa’s biggest market.
Nishizawa spoke at a news conference in Lagos to announce Japan’s readiness to participate in the Lagos International Trade Fair.
He said 37 Japanese firms, their agents and local distributors would be exhibiting at the fair scheduled to hold from November 1 to 10.
JETRO is a Japanese governmental organisation that promotes mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world.
It started in Nigeria in 1955 and recently, it is focusing on promoting investment and facilitating trade from Japan to Nigeria.
Nishizawa said Japanese products that will feature at this year’s fair include brands of motorbikes from Honda, Yamaha and motor brands from Mitsubishi, Toyota, Isuzu and Suzuki.
Other products include cameras and multifunction printing machine from Canon, Sharp and Brother. There will also be construction materials such as Plascon Paint and Alteco Adhesive, which guarantees quality in housing construction.
The Trade Commissioner said to cater for Japan’s huge presence at the fair, JETRO was organising the Japan Pavilion at the Lagos International Trade Fair 2019, in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan.
He noted that this year marks the sixth year of JETRO’s participation at the fair since the organisation started in 2014 with the Japan pavilion, which is one of the biggest pavilions at the fair.
Nishizawa added that one of the captivating moments in Japan Pavilion this year will be the “Made-in-Japan, Made-for Women” Corner.
“JETRO is setting up a special zone at the Japan Pavilion featuring a collection of products for women in Nigeria. There is a common slogan in Nigeria that says: ‘Looking good is good business’.
“This zone will introduce Japanese products and services helping to enrich women’s lives with more fashionable and convenient items.
“Series of products like cosmetics, hair wigs, shampoo, sewing machines, headphones, foods and beverages, seasonings, etc., will be exhibiting, including live performance on stage,” he said.
Trade between Nigeria and Japan has been growing. For instance, export from Japan to Nigeria last year rose by 2.3 per cent, increasing to $328 million, from $321 million in 2017.
Similarly, export from Nigeria to Japan last year rose by 17.7 per cent to $922 million, compared to $783 million in 2017.
According to Nishizawa, some of the products that boosted the trade volume between both countries include vehicles, which total export share stood at 20.7 per cent last year; steel products, 16.7 per cent; chemical products, 11.3 per cent.
On the other hand, Nigeria exported oil and gas, which share stood at 77.6 per cent of total export last year, and non-ferrous metals, 15.4 per cent,
The JETRO boss said the increased volume of trade between both countries and the activities of Japanese companies in Nigeria are contributing to the country’s economic growth and development.