On an official visit to Japan, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies promoted trade and investment ties between the two countries. Davies met his Japanese counterpart, Yukio Edano, to discuss strengthening bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries. Davies also met various industry stake- holders including Nissan, Isuzu, Toyota, and the Japanese Business Federation, Keidanren. He delivered a keynote address at the SADC/Mainichi Forum - aimed at promoting opportunities in the region.
Davies said bilateral trade between the two countries had increased slightly be- tween 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.
Trade on the rise
A recent Japanese investment was made by the Hong Kong based Asian Mineral Ltd, which owns 49 per cent 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 a high of R106 billion in 2008 prior the global crisis of 2009, but subsequently declined by 43 per cent to R60 billion,” said Davies.
“Between 2010 and 2011, South Africa’s exports experienced an average increase of 16 per cent as compared to imports, which saw an average increase of 10 per cent during the same period.”