Davies in Japan to boost trade relations

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pretoria - Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies is in Japan on an official visit to promote trade and investment ties between the two countries.

Davies is scheduled to meet his Japanese counterpart, Yukio Edano, who will discuss how to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries.

Davies will also meet various industry stakeholders including Nissan, Isuzu, Toyota, and the Japanese Business Federation, Keidanren, as well as deliver a keynote address at the SADC/Mainichi Forum - aimed at promoting opportunities in the region.

Davies said bilateral trade between the two countries has increased slightly between 2007 and 2011, growing from R87 billion to R90 billion respectively.

Japan has been a major investor in South Africa for more than a decade.

"To date, the number of Japanese companies that have invested in South Africa have increased to approximately 108 in 2012. In 2011, South Africa managed to attract investments worth $312 million from Toyota and Kansai Paint," said Davies.

A recent investment from Japan was by the Hong Kong based Asian Mineral Ltd, which owns 49% of the Kudumane manganese mine in the Northern Cape. The mine is expected to employ approximately 300 people.

Trade between the two countries is on the rise, with South Africa enjoying a surplus for the past five years.

"Total trade once reached the high of R106 billion in 2008 prior the global crisis of 2009, but subsequently declined by 43% to R60 billion.

"Between 2010 and 2011, South Africa's exports experienced an average increase of 16% as compared to imports, which saw an average increase of 10% during the same period," said Davies.