By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigerian exports to Japan increased by 17 percent to $922 million in 2018, while exports from Japan to Nigeria in the same year rose by 2.3 percent to $328 million, the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) has said.
Speaking at the ongoing 2019 Lagos International Trade Fair, Trade Commissioner/Managing Director of JETRO, Mr Shigyo Nishizawa, added that the number of Japanese-affiliated firms in Nigeria had also risen to 42 in 2018, a figure that showed the double of the 2014 figures.
According to Mr Nishizawa, 37 Japanese companies were exhibiting their products under the Japanese pavilion at the fair, noting that 2019 marked the sixth year of JETRO’s participation at the Lagos fair since the organisation started in 2014 with the Japanese pavilion, which is one of the biggest pavilions at the fair.
On hand were many Japanese-affiliated firms in Nigeria to exhibit some of the best Japanese innovation and quality to existing and potential customers.
Meanwhile at a separate event at the fair, President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Babatunde Ruwase, said that the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair was aimed at boosting the volume of trade among African nations.
According to him, the intra-African trade was low in comparison with other continents. He said that the total trade from Africa to the rest of the world averaged $760 billion between 2015 and 2017, behind Europe, which stood at $4.11 trillion; America, $5.14 trillion; and Asia, $6.81 trillion.
“These numbers tell us that intra-African trade is extremely low; hence, the reason the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised this event to promote integration and cooperation among African businesses,” he said.
He further said that with the African Continental free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, this was about to change, saying, “We believe the pact will boost trade on a continent with a population of 1.2 billion and market size of about $2.5tn as it allows members to specialise in their areas of comparative advantage.”
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