South Africa Business Forum commemorating visit of Deputy President

August 2015

On August 25, welcoming Deputy President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa and his mission consisting of approximately 50 members including four cabinet officials to Japan, JETRO co-organized the “South Africa Business Forum” at JETRO Headquarters in Tokyo together with the South African Embassy. The forum attracted 188 attendees from many companies in the fields of manufacturing, finance and trading and related organizations.

In his opening remarks at the beginning of the forum, JETRO President Satoshi Miyamoto focused on the recent trend of countries around the world strengthening joint efforts between the public and private sectors to enhance relations with Africa. He stated that prioritizing the partnership with South Africa, Japan has supported entry of Japanese companies into the country and contributed to its economic development. He also made mention of the memorandums of understanding concluded with the Ministry of Trade and Industry in 2009 and with the Development Bank of Southern Africa in 2013 respectively, as well as the “African Investment Promotion Forum (AIPF)” held in September last year with representatives from investment promotion organizations from seven African countries.


In his welcome address, Deputy Director-General for International Trade Policy, Nobuaki Ito, of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan stated that the government has dedicated itself to an all-Japan sales promotion campaign by governmental leaders aiming at building relations with Africa as a business partner. He also introduced public-private partnership programs such as the first “Japan Business Strategy Meeting for Africa” in May this year, to offer an opportunity for dialogue with Japanese companies operating in the region.

From the South African Government, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Mzwandile Masina made a speech. He emphasized the importance of this visit to Japan as a touchstone toward building on the relationship between it and South Africa.


JETRO President Miyamoto


Deputy Minister Masina

In his keynote speech, Deputy President Ramaphosa expressed his gratitude for the support from JETRO for over 50 years in building partnership between the two countries and in helping entry of Japanese companies into South Africa. He also appreciated efforts to expand investment not only in his country but also across the African continent through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), an initiative promoted by the Japanese Government.

In the following session, Executive Director Kimihiko Inaba of JETRO Johannesburg presented on the increasing number of Japanese companies entering this continent since 2000 and vigorous business activities by these companies. At the same time, he also pointed out business challenges related to the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BB-BEE) policy, issuance of visas and labor-management relations.

Lastly, Managing Director Knox Msebenzi of the Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa disclosed a planned mission of his organization. He emphasized that human resources required for the nuclear industry are not executives but skilled workers. To improve skills of workers, he expressed his hope for learning from the technology and experience of Japanese companies.


Deputy President Ramaphosa


JETRO Johannesburg Executive Director Inaba

Date August 25, 2015
Venue Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
Organizer JETRO, Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Japan
Supporter The Africa Society of Japan
Speakers Satoshi Miyamoto, President, JETRO
Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President, Republic of South Africa
Mzwandile Masina, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Republic of South Africa
Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology, Republic of South Africa  
General Bheki Cele, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Republic of South Africa
Kimihiko Inaba, Executive Director, JETRO Johannesburg
Knox Msebenzi Managing Director, Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (NIASA)
Nobuaki Ito, Deputy Director-General for International Trade Policy, Trade Policy Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)