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UBA, Japan collaborate to promote MSMEs in Africa


Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Kennedy Uzoka (left); Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Hiroyuki Ishige; Chairman, UBA Plc, Tony Elumelu; and Senior Director for Global Strategy, JETRO, Makoto Matsumura, during the talk between JETRO and UBA to promote medium and small scale enterprises across Africa, in Lagos.

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has indicated its readiness to support the Japanese Government in its drive to promote Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) across Africa.

The Chairman, UBA Group, Mr. Tony Elumelu, indicated this on Monday, when members of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), led by its CEO, Mr. Hiroyuki Ishige, were hosted to a cocktail at the UBA House, in Lagos, Nigeria, according to a company statement.

Elumelu, who welcomed the guests, noted that the deliberations had earlier begun in Davos, Switzerland, adding that like UBA, JETRO shared the passion for transforming lives and helping to build businesses and trade across the world.


Elumelu was quoted: “When global leaders visit a country, they bring global attention. These investors who came from Davos have seen Nigeria as a business destination and have come to the country for the first time to visit us and see how things work here. The fact is that we all share the same passion to help transform lives and businesses around the world. 

Continuing, Elumelu said to the Japanese delegation, “We are aware of the various investments you have made recently to develop Africa and African businesses and this is what we also stand for at UBA, developing enterprises across the African continent. We believe that this visit will mark significant milestones and progress as we work towards empowering the youths and small and medium scale businesses.”

Elumelu also said collaborations and partnerships such as this will help towards employment creation, poverty alleviation, and building sustainable businesses that contribute towards economic growth.On his part, Ishige, who was full of praises for the bank’s management, said he found Nigeria very interesting with many wonderful opportunities for investment.

He remarked that JETRO aims to contribute to further development of Japan’s economy and society through promoting trade and investment as well as research in developing countries. “We like what we have seen here and we want to seize this opportunity to invite UBA to our oncoming Afro Japanese Summit which will be taking place in Yokohoma, Japan this August.

“I am convinced it will be a great opportunity for both countries to showcase themselves and come together towards the common aim of building and supporting small and medium scale businesses,” Ishige was quoted.

He explained that JETRO through its domestic and overseas networks supports SMEs, adding that the organisation cooperates with relevant organisations, local governments, etc. to provide services that match the needs of the company.

As a company, JETRO fully utilises domestic and overseas networks consisting of about 50 domestic bases, promotes investment, agriculture, forestry and fishery products.

“We will actively and efficiently work on exporting food products and on supporting overseas expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises, and contribute to Japanese corporate activities as well as trade policies through surveys and research,” Ishige said.

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