On the morning of Friday 2 February, approx. 100 people gathered at a venue in Roppongi, where snow slowly started piling on the streets. On the occasion of the visit of the investment promotion agencies to Japan from the Republic of Mozambique and the Republic of South Africa, a business seminar for both countries was organized by JETRO and UNIDO ITPO Tokyo.
Mozambique is a country where the development of natural gas and the growth of demand in infrastructure is much in perspective, while the Republic of South Africa is a country with much anticipation on further development in manufacturing on top of further expansion in the area of natural resource and infrastructure. The seminar was held as a platform for the Japanese businesses to better understand the investment climate and the economic situation of both countries and an opportunity to hear the presentation by a Japanese corporation already operating in Africa.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Katsumi Hirano, Executive Vice President, JETRO, welcomed the audience, visitors from both countries and the diplomatic representatives including the Ambassador. Dr. Hirano also mentioned that JETRO is ready to provide business opportunities and assistance to the Japanese companies with TICAD VII in perspective for 2019.
Ms. Sawaka Takazaki, Deputy Director, Middle East and Africa Division, JETRO, was the first presenter to speak on “Africa’s economic overview & survey results on business conditions of Japanese-affiliated firms in Africa”. “Business opportunities are created through the economic growth”, said Ms. Takazaki, who was once based in the Republic of South Africa for six years. Based on the results of the survey which took place among the 738 Japanese business bases (of which 25 are in Mozambique and 280 are in the Republic of South Africa), Ms. Takazaki introduced the expected revenues in the future, business development and the risks entailed in the relevant investments.
Mr. Lourenço Sambo, Director General, Agência para a Promoção de Investimento e Exportações (APIEX) was next to present on “Business & investment environment of Mozambique”. In a country where Portuguese is the mother language and English being the business language, Mozambique has been growing economically in the areas of tourism, agriculture, industry and fisheries. Mr. Sambo also put emphasis on Mozambique being a country of logistics as a gateway to regional and international markets. The Nacala Corridor, an economic development region structured with roads and the railroads was introduced as one of the successful cases.
Mr. Danúbio Lado, Information & Marketing Services, in charge of Japan Desk, APIEX, followed to add that the Japan desk is there to support the Japanese businesses coming to Mozambique. The desk supports from the introductory phase to follow-ups.
Mr. Motoyasu NOZAKI, Associate Officer, General Manager of Mozambique Projects Division, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., was next to present as a representative from the Japanese company. Mitsui has been in business with Mozambique throughout the history of the development of the country and in 2011, expanded its office in Maputo.
In addition to the high-grade coal mine and the development of resources, Mr. Nozaki introduced the business model for an infrastructure project integrating railways and ports. “We are committed to contributing in the economic development of Sub-Saharan Africa, added Mr. Nozaki.
Representing the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Manley Barnard, Counsellor (Economic), Embassy of the Republic of South Africa, and Ms. Letta Kaseke, Assistant Director, in charge of Japan Desk, Invest SA were at the podium to present on “Business & investment environment of South Africa”. The realization of economy based on global competitiveness was much emphasized along with the introduction of the new policy of economic development strategy with human resource development set at the core; Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), was also introduced. The value added mineral resources and the incentives especially in the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) were also introduced by the representatives. “We are with the region. When you are visiting us from Japan, please stop by other countries to make your visit even more fruitful”, added Mr. Barnard.
In the closing remarks, Mr. Yuko Yasunaga, Head, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo said that he has come to reassure that the two countries are the “big market with bright future for the brave investors” and reminded the audience that the two countries are full of passion towards developing the frontier.
The networking session followed after the seminar where the participants and the speakers exchanged various conversations on one-on-one basis.
|Event:||Mozambique & South Africa Business Seminar|
|Date/Time:||Friday, February 2, 2018 / 09:30 – 13:00|
|Venue:||the club room, ARK HILLS CLUB|
|Organizers:||Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
UNIDO ITPO Tokyo