Japan Seeks Greater Collaboration with Nigerian Firms

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Oluchi Chibuzor

The Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) has advised private companies in Nigeria to leverage international partnership to accelerate growth in the domestic economy.

Its Trade Commissioner/Managing Director, in Nigeria, Shigeyo Nishizawa, stated this as 37 firms affiliated to the Asian country showcase products and services at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair.

Nishizawa, said Japan wants deeper trade and investment with the Africa’s biggest market and has asked the private sector in both countries to exploit opportunities inherent in their relationship.

“The Nigerian government is trying but has its challenges. However, private companies in Nigeria have sufficient buying power to collaborate with Japanese firms in improving the Nigerian market,” said Nishizawa.

At the fair, where country is participating for the sixth time, Japanese agents and local distributors are exhibiting brands like Honda, Yamaha, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Isuzu and Suzuki, Canon, Sharp and Brother, Plascon Paint and Alteco adhesive.

Big names in the food and beverages industry like Briscoe Nigeria plc, Olam Sanyo Foods, Tomoe engineering, and Ajinomoto are also showcasing the quality and reliability of Japanese products.

The Japanese pavilion also features financial services firms like Double Feather Partners, and infotech companies with innovative products like SENRI, a sales automation system that helps businesses achieve greater sales productivity by monitoring field staff, generating reports from the field, streamlining order process, route management, payment management and customer management.

The fair also exhibited synergy between Japanese and Nigerian businesses, which is already making a social impact. For instance, SATO is helping to make Nigeria open defecation-free through its affordable, smart, plastic toilets that can be mounted over pit latrines to create more hygienic toilets.

The fair offers Nigerians the opportunity to purchase authentic hair products like X-pression, made from raw materials supplied by Toyokalon, at affordable rates.

“Toyokalon, has for over a decade, been supplying us with the quality of materials we desire,” said Grace Ejikeme, marketing manager of Xpression.
“Nigerians and Africans as a whole are satisfied with what we produce with their raw materials,” she added.
The number of Japanese–affiliated firms in Nigeria has jumped to 42 in 2018, double of 2014 figure.