The annual bilateral trade volume between Nigeria and Japan stands at $1 billion, the Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Mr Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, has said.
Speaking at the 2nd Japan-Nigeria business facilitation council meeting on Friday in Abuja, Kazuyoshi explained that the trade volume includes imports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and agricultural products like sesame seeds from Nigeria.
According to the Ambassador, the trade volume also extends to exports of machines and cars from Japan to Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the first working group meeting of the Japan Nigeria Business Facilitation Council (JNBFC) took place in Lagos in February 2020.
The ambassador added that 40 per cent of sesame seeds consumed in Japan were grown in Nigeria.
While emphasising the importance of the meeting, Kazuyoshi said that currently 47 Japanese companies were operating in Nigeria.
He said that the meeting was critical in proffering solutions to some of the challenges the companies were facing with the Nigeria Customs Service, National Agency for Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), foreign exchange and logistics.
The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mrs Saratu Umar, urged other countries to emulate the Japanese model and develop such bilateral councils.
She said it would deepen the existing trade and investment relationships between Nigeria and their respective countries.
“We have a good working relationship with the Japanese embassy and will sustain such to ensure that we jointly work to provide succor to all Japanese companies doing business in Nigeria,” she said.
Umar noted that Nigeria established a similar platform called OSIC Lab, leveraging the existence of Ministries, Departments and Agencies under the One-Stop Investment Centre.
“The platform provides a one-stop solution in resolving investors’ challenges with government agencies.
“This I believe, will complement the work we do at the Japan Nigeria Business Facilitation Council,” she added.
She pleaded with Kazuyoshi to encourage more companies from Japan to take advantage of Nigeria’s potential and locate their businesses in the country.