The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies says that he is optimistic of the impact that the Japan-Africa Public Private Economic Forum will have on future growth between African countries and Japan. Davies said this during the launch of the inaugural Forum which took place at the Sandton Convention Centre, today.
The Japan-Africa Public Private Economic Forum which is co-hosted by the Government of Japan in collaboration with South Africa over two-days, with full involvement of the business leaders from both countries, provides business actors with opportunities to reflect on their approach to boosting investment in their respective countries, including by leveraging necessary public and private resources.
Speaking on the impact of the momentous occasion, Davies said that the Forum offered opportunities for African and Japanese businesspeople and governments to renew the economic relationships and strengthening of economic ties.
“We are here to deliberate on how we can collectively address our countries’ challenges to drive growth by leveraging on our resource endowment, diversifying our economies, accelerating infrastructure development, and deepening regional integration. At government-to-government level, we have made strides in strengthening our cooperation through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) process and bilateral engagements,” said Davies.
On speaking about his observations and expectations, Davies emphasised that it was imperative that mutually beneficial relations between Japan and South Africa be maintained at that the more than 140 Japanese currently doing business in South Africa be increased significantly.
“It is important that we sustain this partnership with Japan to enable us to achieve our industrialisation objectives, most importantly because Japan is a world-leader in the field of artificial intelligence and fuel-cell manufacturing, to name a few. We on the other hand possess significant reserves of platinum which is a key catalyst in the manufacturing of fuel cells and do harbour ambitions of making an impact in this sector. These are but a few of the sectors that we are open to partnering in,” he said.
In addition, Davies pronounced on the investment one-stop-shops that have been established to assist all companies that are looking at setting-up establishments in South Africa.
The forum will be comprised plenary and thematic sessions as well as several side events such as Japan Fair that will showcase innovative Japanese technologies, activities, products and services currently operating or planning to expand their businesses in Africa, with the aim of prompting the Fourth Industrial Revolution.