The Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) has stated that more Japanese investors have announced plans to increase their participation at the Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) scheduled to hold next month, as part of moves to improve trade relations with Nigeria.
The Trade Commissioner and Managing Director, JETRO, Shigeyo Nishizawa, explained that the move was a reflection of the belief and commitment Japanese companies have in Africa's biggest market.
The Trade Commissioner said the number of the Japanese affiliated companies in Nigeria increased by four in 2016 and by one in 2017 despite the recession.
"This shows that nothing has changed as regards the huge potential of Nigeria and how strongly Japanese companies are eager to tap into this lucrative market," he said.
Nishizawa during a press briefing in Lagos, yesterday, however stated that Nigeria's import from Japan in 2017 slightly decreased by 1.6 per cent to USD 320.8 million while export to Japan decreased by 7.5 per cent to USD 783.1 million.
He explained that the trade decline between both countries from 2015 to 2017 was due to decreased natural gas import, slim harvest of sesame seeds in Nigeria and weak demand for some goods.
He said despite the economic recession and the decline of volume of trade between both countries, the number of Japanese companies with strong interest in Nigerian market has increased.
He pointed out that in 2016, Nigeria nosedived into a recession that recorded low foreign investments, saying that Japanese companies still believes in the Nigerian economy and would take huge advantage by expanding its businesses in the biggest African market.
He added that JETRO will be organising the Japan pavilion at the Lagos International Trade Fair 2018 in collaboration with Embassy of Japan.
According to him, 2018 marks the fifth year of participation, adding that the pavilion is one of the biggest at the fair.
He explained that more than 30 Japanese brands will be showcasing their products and technologies to Nigerian business officials and citizens representing the quality and reliability of Japan for the 10 days event.
"An exciting moment for this year is encompassing which draws also the attention of beautiful women we called "Made in Japan, Made for Women" corner. We are setting up a special zone at the Japan pavilion featuring a collection of products and services created by Japanese companies for women in Nigeria," he added.
He stated that the zone will introduce Japanese products and services helping to enrich women's lives with more fashionable and convenient items.