Minister Dlamini Zuma to hold Discussions in Japan

Pretoria - South African Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will on Saturday 2 December 2006 depart for Tokyo, Japan where she is scheduled to pay an official visit and hold bilateral discussions with her counterpart Foreign Minister Taro Aso scheduled from Monday - Wednesday 4-6 December 2006.

Minister Dlamini will pay an official visit to Japan within the context of South Africa's commitment to consolidate North-South relations with a view to pushing back the frontiers of poverty and underdevelopment.

Discussions between Foreign Ministers Dlamini Zuma and Taro Aso are expected to include, among others:

  • The status of bilateral political and economic relations between both countries;
  • Regional issues in Africa and the Japanese sub-region;
  • Japanese support for AsgiSA and JIPSA driven training programmes;
  • Areas of trilateral co-operation;
  • Developments in the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) process. TICAD IV will take place in 2008 and regional preparatory meetings, as well as an African ministerial meeting on Energy and Environment, is envisaged for early 2007 in Kenya; and
  • Multilateral issues including nuclear disarmament, the comprehensive reform of the United Nations and South Africa's accession to the Non-Permanent Seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Japan's economic policy toward African development taken in its entirety is directed within the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) process which was first held in 1993. TICAD enjoys the support of co-organisers, namely the Government of Japan, the Global Coalition for Africa (GCA), the UN Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (UN-OSAA), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank (WB). TICAD is committed to create synergy between its own agenda and NEPAD and the UNDP has made substantial contributions to NEPAD already

Its three pillars are:

  • Consolidation of Peace;
  • Human-centred Development; and
  • Poverty Reduction through Economic Growth.

TICAD has led to the implementation of projects aimed at increasing African human resource capacity, infrastructure development and investment. In the context of the Gleneagles G8 Summit held in July 2005, Prime Minister Koizumi committed Japan to holding TICAD IV in 2008 in an effort at making TICAD the cornerstone of Africa-Japan relations. Japan has long advocated the importance of ownership of the development process by Africa in partnership with the international community.

At the Africa-Asia Summit in April 2005 Japan pledged to double their ODA to Africa in the next three years. Such ODA will amount to 0.7% of Japan's GDP. Japan is of the opinion that, based on the Asian experiences, the key to African economic development is to foster the private sector through he promotion of trade and investment. In line with this, Japan hosted the TICAD Asia-Africa Trade and Investment Conference in November 2004.

While in Japan Minister Dlamini Zuma is also expected to pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, meet with the Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki, President of the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) Mrs Ogata, Governor of the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) Kyosuke Shinozawa, and Chairperson of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) Osamu Watanabe.

Minister Dlamini Zuma will also hold discussions with the Secretary-General and members of the South Africa Parliamentary Friendship League and meet with Japanese captains of industry.

Minister Dlamini Zuma is expected to depart from Japan on Wednesday 6 December 2006 ahead of her visit to Washington where she will support President Thabo Mbeki during discussions with President George Bush of the United States of America.

Economic Bilateral Relations

South Africa imports technology-intensive goods from Japan, whilst exporting raw materials and agricultural products. Key Japanese exports to South Africa include the transport, especially automobiles, and machinery, especially electrical machinery, sectors. Key South African exports include base metals, notably Ferro-alloys, non-ferrous metals, and intermediate iron and steel products. Since 2000 and 2001 onwards vehicle exports from South Africa, the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C Class, became the first value-added products to be registered amongst our key exports to Japan.

In 2005 key Japanese exports to South Africa include original equipment for motor vehicles, especially automobiles, machinery, and electrical consumer goods sectors. Key South African exports include vehicles, base metals, notably Ferro-alloys, non-ferrous metals, and intermediate iron and steel products.

Investments (FDI)

Prior to 1994, there were no foreign direct Japanese investments in South Africa. However, since 1994, there have been over 42 major investments in South Africa by Japanese companies, amounting to more than US$ 1 billion.

The following is a list of Japanese Companies that have invested in South Africa:

  • Bridgestone Corporation
  • Cataler Corporation
  • Itochu Corporation
  • Japan Metals & Chemicals
  • Japan Metals & Chemicals (JMC)\Mitsui
  • Komatsu
  • Marubeni Corporation
  • Mitsubishi Corporation
  • Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation
  • Mitsu & Co, Ltd
  • NGK Insulators, Ltd
  • Nissan Motor Co, Ltd
  • Nissan Diesel Motor Co,
  • Nippon Denko Co, Ltd
  • Nisshin Steel Co, Ltd
  • Showa Denko
  • Sumitomo Corporation
  • Sojitz Corporation
  • Toyota Motor Corporation

ASGISA

There are indications that Japan is considering adapting its ODA programme for South Africa to ASGISA. The proposal, if accepted will be based on three pillars:

  • Focus on the second economy to empower the people
  • Human Resource Development including assistance to the newly established Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA)
  • Trilateral co-operation


Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria
0001

1 December 2006

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