President BuhariThe Trade Commissioner and Managing Director, Lagos Office, Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Taku Miyazuki, has put the volume of trade between Nigeria and Japan in 2014 to about $4.5 billion.

The Japanese Trade Commissioner, explained that import from Japan to Nigeria and export from Nigeria to Japan increased significantly, noting that import from Japan, mainly consisted of machinery, steel products and vehicles marked around $728 million representing 21.0 per cent increase compared to 2013 while export from Nigeria to Japan was dominated by natural gas and a few sesame seeds which also increased 36.8 per cent in 2014.

Miyazuki, who made this known during a press briefing at the Lagos International Trade Fair said Nigeria and Japan have continued to enjoy a smooth bilateral trade relationship, maintaining that more Japanese companies are keen to expanding their investments in Nigeria.

“Some of them have already invested in this country and started producing. A motorcycle manufacturing company just started assembling its motorcycles in Lagos State late October this year,” he said.

He added, “They are not just making and selling their products here in Nigeria. They create jobs, educate staff, transfer technology and share values of Japanese craftsmanship. I believe that can serve development in the Nigerian manufacturing sector and contribute to the nation’s quest to diversify its economy.”

He said JETRO, a Japanese government related body which promotes trade and investment between Japan and other nations, has led more than 30 Japanese firms and their local distributors to promote their products and technologies to Nigerian businesses and citizens during the 10 days trade fair.

“JETRO is a Japanese supportive government organisation which promotes trade and investment between Japan and other countries. We have about 80 offices around the world. In African, we have six offices and also planning to increase our presence in Africa. This is the evidence that JETRO is strongly committed to the development of Africa,” he added.

“Our major activities are supporting Japanese companies investing in other countries and also encouraging export of Japan to other countries. We also support local companies to develop their business capabilities. Nigeria is the biggest economy in Africa and also with the largest population, more Japanese companies want to do more businesses with Nigeria companies. This is why so many Japanese companies have participated in this year’s fair,” he said.

By Pita Ochai

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