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Japan seeks closer ties with Nigeria

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As Nigeria continues to recover from its economic downturn, Japanese businesses have expressed interests in deepening investments in the country by exploring new opportunities for backward integration.
  
According to the Trade Commissioner/Managing Director of Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Lagos, Shigeyo Nishizawa, many of the businesses have commenced assembling of some plants and machinery locally, while equally exploring the beauty markets.
   
Nishizawa told journalists recently that export from Japan into Nigeria in 2018 rose by 2.3 per cent to $328 million compared to $321 million in 2017, while export from Nigeria to Japan also increased by 17.7 per cent to $922 million against $783 million during the period.
 


With Nigeria’s economic recovery and growing foreign trade, the Trade Commissioner noted that Japan has exported vehicles, which share was 20.7 per cent of total export in 2018, steel products (16.7 per cent) and chemical products (11.3 per cent).
  
On the other hand, he said Nigeria exported oil and gas, which share was 77.6 per cent of total export in 2018, and non-ferrous metals (15.4 per cent).
  
“The rejuvenation of the economy of the African giant could not have been possible without the Government intervention as well as increase in foreign investments. By this development of economic recovery, Japanese companies as a result have taken huge advantage to invest by expanding their businesses in the biggest African market in Nigeria.
  
“The total number of Japanese affiliated companies in Nigeria has doubled in the last four years from 21 companies in 2014 to 42 in 2018, which shows Japan’s strong interest in Nigeria market,” he added.
  
Preparatory to the Lagos International Trade Fair, Nishizawa said JETRO would be showcasing 37 Japanese brands, technologies as well as their agents and local distributors to their Nigerian counterparts, officials and citizens to reflect the quality and reliability of the brands.
  
“One of the captivating moments in Japan Pavilion this year is 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 added.
 
 


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JETROShigeyo Nishizawa
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