Japan has restated its resolve to deepen trade relations with Nigeria as Nigeria’s export to Japan hit 1,250,470,000USD (N975.3bn), almost doubling the 2021 figure of 759, 265,000 USD (N592.2bn).
Similarly, Japan’s import to Nigeria was estimated at 248,577,000USD in 2022 as against 287,331,000 USD in 2021, according to the Trade Office.
However, the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, who spoke at the Japan Pavilion at the ongoing International Trade Fair in Lagos, stated that “Japan, understanding the immense potential of the Nigerian economy, has long deepened its economic relationship with Nigeria.”
Daily Trust reports that 33 Japanese companies are participating at the trade fair out of 55 Japanese companies in Nigeria.
According to the ambassador, more than 80 years have already passed since Japan’s trade office, now the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), was opened in Lagos in 1939, preceding the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1960.
The Japanese envoy stated that 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 this country more than ever.”
He added that “To truly achieve the economic growth in Nigeria, trade and investment play an indispensable role.
“They serve as the catalyst for job creation, higher productivity, capital access, learning and innovation, and expansion for technology spillovers. 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.
“This clearly demonstrates that Japanese businesses are beginning to see Nigeria as their place to be. Japan is here to work with you to contribute to the economic diversification in Nigeria and to its future growth.”
The MD/Trade Commissioner of JETRO, Takashi Oku, stated that Nigeria is a net exporter of natural gas and sesame to Japan while “we export cars and machinery”.
“We have many investments here with about 51 companies in Nigeria. Both countries enjoy good trade relations. We are working with Nigerian companies to introduce more products into the country.
“There is an increased number of participants compared with last year. We had 19 companies last year, but have increased to 33 companies.”