There are 110 Japanese companies operating in South Africa, with all of them having created over 150 000 jobs in this country, Japan ambassador to South Africa Yutaka Yoshizawa said early this week.
Japanese brands have been well received in this country, and Japan was looking to increase co-operation assistance in South Africa and the rest of Africa, Yoshizawa added.
It is believed that the commitment includes doubling Japanese foreign direct investment, and establishing a 10 billion USD global financial mechanism to address the effects of climate change.
But as most of Africa’s trade with the developed world is becoming increasingly unbalanced and said to benefit mostly the First-World powerful economies, Africa is starting to sound an alarm bell by asking for trade equality.
Lionel October, South Africa’s DG of Trade and Industry said South Africa should be looking to have a balanced trade and diversifying its economy. “In all efforts, South Africa should be moving away from mainly exporting raw material and start working towards a diversified economy with diversified exports. An unbalanced economy is not sustainable,” October said.
“Our collaboration with the international community, especially Japan, is designed to help us achieve inclusive growth, sustainable development and a prosperous South Africa. Japan has been a long standing investor in South Africa and a major investor in the African continent,” he said. “In 2011, South Africa managed to attract investments worth 312 million USD from Toyota and Kansai Paint.”
Both October and Yoshizawa were speaking at the pre-Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) seminar held recently in Johannesburg, South Africa. TICAD was launched in 1993 to promote high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) said, adding that South Africa will participate at the TICAD V conference to held in Japan on 1-3 June 2013.
Dti spokesperson Sidwell Medupe said his department will host investment seminars in Japan prior to the TICAD event. These seminars, he said, will create awareness of opportunities in South Africa and convey critical aspects of South Africa’s business climate.
With repressive China increasingly asserting its ‘neo-colonialist’ domination in Africa by taking a firgrip on the continent’s natural resources, while overlooking issues of human rights abuse and brushing aside Africa’s bad governance and corruption, most Western countries have realised that they should do something to counter the Chinese domination.
Both Europe and the US have started to put in place some desperate strategies in these desperate times to help them come back to their ‘first love’, Africa. Visiting European Parliament Martin Schulz told the Pan-African Parliament early this week in Johannesburg that Europe will not abandon Africa despite its economic woes.