Japan’s FDIs to Africa hit $6 billion, keen to up trade

By Lawrence Quartey
Posted on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 10:42

The country’s yearly FDI rate between 2008 and 2010 exceeded the baseline that was needed to double its investment to the $3.4 billion expected last year.

Koichiro Matsuura, a former Unesco secretary general, said the huge Japanese injection went into expanding business opportunities in African nations.

The investment, he said, had created employment, expanded trade and investment and promoted political stability for peaceful atmosphere for foreign investors leading to Africa’s economic development.

Matsuura’s lecture came ahead of the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), which will take place in Yokohama, Japan, from June 1 to 3, 2013.

TICAD V seeks to consolidate the shift in terms of the relationship between Japan and Africa from one historically premised on development aid to one designed to facilitate higher levels of trade and investment.

TICAD was initiated by Japan in 1993 with the support from the United Nations, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme and the African Union Commission.

Japan has since established diplomatic relations with most African countries, with embassies in 32 nations on the continent.

Matsuura said TICAD has grown into an international forum with participation from international organisations, regional organisations, civil society organisations, donors and Asian countries.

TICAD V will be on the theme: “Hand in Hand with more Dynamic Africa, Transformation for Quality Growth”.

Matsuura believes that to realise Africa’s growth, concrete action plans should be created for three themes – robust and sustainable economy, inclusive and resilient society and peace and stability in Africa.

Ghana’s Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Hannah Tetteh commended Japan for its assistance in education, healthcare, agriculture and the sustenance of peace and stability.

She said Ghana will continue to dialogue with Japan on the way forward for African development agenda for economic growth.

In terms of trade relations, Japan is currently South Africa’s third trading partner, with two-way trade of nearly $1 billion recorded in 2011.

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