Ahead of Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which starts on 1 June 2013, a series of investment seminars have been held in Yokohoma, which try to encourage Japanese businesses to invest more in South Africa
In February 2013, South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry, and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) signed a memorandum of understanding. These investment seminars are a part of the plan envisaged by that agreement.
Japan already has 108 companies in the country and has created more than 150 000 jobs in South Africa.
“The fact that the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index ranked South Africa first in the strength of auditing and reporting standards, second in the soundness of banks and is 50th in the overall ranking out of 142 countries and second of all the Brics economies, makes us a better destination for doing business,” said SA Trade and Investment Deputy Director General, Pumla Ncapayi, at one of the seminars on Wednesday.
“We are at an advanced stage of establishing a Free Trade Area, which would include 26 East and Southern African member states with a gross domestic product of $624 billion,” she added.
South African Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, said that the seminars will give South African businesses a chance to have bilateral interactions with their Japanese counterparts.
The seminars are hosted by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi United Financial of Japan (UFJ), and aim to show Japanese business the opportunities presented by South Africa. But these seminars also try to educate Japanese business about the business climate in South Africa, and the cultural adjustment required on the ground in order to succeed.