The Japanese government has announced plans to increase the volume of trade between Nigeria and Japan, noting that, there is still a lot of grey areas both countries can explore in terms of trade.
Checks revealed that the trade volume between Nigeria and Japan stood at over $10 billion in 2022.
The managing director and Trade commissioner, Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Takashi Oku, at the just concluded Lagos International Trade Fair acknowledged the low trade volume, maintaining that, plans are ongoing to increase the volume of trade.
According to him, Nigeria and Japan have continued to enjoy smooth bilateral trade relationships, calling on the Nigerian government to address issues of foreign exchange and high inflation rate to attract more Foreign and Direct Investments (FDIs) into the country.
“Foreign companies and Nigerian companies are struggling to get foreign currencies. Investors need to be guaranteed easy access to forex as this would help Nigeria’s economy grow, while also encouraging foreign direct investments,” he said.
Speaking on the level of patronage it received at the fair, he said, over 50,000 visitors visited its pavilion while also saying that, the number of Japanese companies at this year’s fair almost doubled from 19 in 2022 to 33 in 2023.
“The turn out of Japan participants at the fair has been a gradual recovery since COVID 19 and this year, participants at this year’s fair are almost double of what we had last year and this for us is an achievement.
“We will try to introduce more Japanese products and services to Nigerian people and we also have some companies in collaboration with Nigerian companies, so we are seeking more cooperation and partnerships with Nigerian companies. We will also be looking at investing into Nigeria’s food and machinery industry,” he averred.
Also speaking, the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, said Nigeria has an enormous economy, population, natural resources, growing human resources and rich culture, adding that, the international community is now paying close attention to the potential of Nigeria more than ever.
He added that trade and investment play an indispensable role to truly achieve economic growth in Nigeria.
“They serve as the catalyst for job creation, higher productivity, capital access, learning and innovation and expansion for technology spill overs. In this context, Lagos is the gateway to attracting foreign investment into Nigeria, and the Lagos International Trade Fair 2023 will be a distinct showcase of the momentum for growth through trade and investment,” he added.