The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and the Bank of Tokyo–Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on promoting industrial and economic development between South Africa and Japan in Pretoria today.
The MoU emanates from a visit to Japan by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies last year where it was agreed that both countries would assist with and collaborate in the area of increasing Japanese investment into South Africa.
The MoU will be supported by a plan of action and a schedule of events which will include investment seminars in both countries, skills transfer activities and collaboration on projects in South Africa and the rest of Africa.
Speaking during ceremony, the Director-General of the dti Mr Lionel October said the agreement will strengthen and deepen the cordial bilateral relationship that exists between the two countries.
“Japan is one of the leading countries when it comes to Information Communication Technology and manufacturing, and its quite fitting for us as government to enter into an agreement that will benefit and assist industrialise both South Africa and the rest of the Africa continent,” said October.
He also said that both parties should come up with an active programme after the signing to ensure that the MoU served its purpose.
Muneo Kurauchi, a Senior Managing Executive Officer at The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi said South Africa is a promising country to do business with and that he was hoping that the co-operation agreement will work for both countries. The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd has a representative office in South Africa and will shortly open a fully-fledged branch that will support the needs of their clients locally.
“Africa’s economy is growing and more countries are investing in the continent to set their foot print. The investment is likely to increase and more Japanese companies need to be educated in doing business in Africa,” added Kurauchi.
It was further agreed that an action plan would start off with disseminating information about opportunities in South Africa. These will be followed by investment seminars focussing on strategic sectors.