Deputy Minister Sue van der Merwe to meet the Japanese State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr Osamu Fujiimura

Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Sue Van Der Merwe, will meet the Japanese State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr Osamu Fujiimura on Wednesday, 1 September 2010 in Cape Town. Mr Fjiimura arrives in South Africa today, 31 August 2010.

Mr Fjiimura will be accompanied by the Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Mr Chiaki Takahashi, and a business delegation comprising of business people plus other senior government officials. Among companies that will be represented in the delegation are Toyota, Hitachi, Sumitomo, Mitsubishi, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance.

The purpose of the visit is to investigate opportunities in the areas of trade and investment within infrastructural development projects in the energy and transport sectors. Currently there are about 86 Japanese companies operating in South Africa and Japan was the biggest export market for South Africa in 2005, 2006 and 2008.

However, due to the Global Economic Recession, Japan dropped to 3rd position in 2009. Bilateral trade between the two countries is expected to recover from 2010. Two-way trade amounted to R107 billion in 2008 with South Africa enjoying a trade surplus of R25 billion.

The South African Government appreciates the human resources skills development assistance provided by JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) to public servants in the RSA, including Teachers, Health Care workers and Water Affairs officials. This assistance is provided in close alignment with SA’s Human Resource Development policy (JIPSA and HRDSA). Thus far more than 1200 South Africans have been trained in various training courses in Japan. JICA currently despatches more than 20 experts and volunteers to South Africa, to train government officials (e.g. maths and science teachers and artisans).

2010 marks the 100th year since the establishment of official contact between South Africa and Japan with the appointment of an Honorary Consul of Japan, Sir Julius Jeppe, in Cape Town in 1910. Programmes of events have been organised in both South Africa and Japan to promote people-to-people contacts and a better understanding of the two countries’ respective cultures.

For more information please contact Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Saul Kgomotso Molobi, on +27 82 940 1647,+27 12 351 0083 or e-mail him at molobisk@dirco.gov.za

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
Pretoria

31 August 2010


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