Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa leads a high-level SA government and business delegation to Japan 22-25 August 2015

20 August 2015

A high-level South African government and business delegation led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to touch down in Tokyo, Japan on Saturday 22 August 2015 to consolidate political and economic bilateral relations between the two countries.

The government delegation will include Ministers Naledi Pandor, Rob Davies, Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Deputy Ministers Bheki Cele, Nomaindiya Mfeketo, Mzwandile Masina, Dr Nono Simelelela Special Advisor to Deputy President, senior government officials including Deputy Director-General in the office of the Deputy President Busani Ngcaweni, Ambassador Anil Sooklal and South Africa’s Ambassador to Japan Mohau Pheko.

The visit which take place from 22 to 25 August 2015 is also aimed at reassuring Japanese business that South Africa is indeed open for business and to brief them about the stability, vibrancy and conducive business environment that exists in South Africa for Japanese business to invest in the country particularly in ventures that can create jobs. South Africa is currently exploring new and innovative ways of growing the economy.

Deputy President Ramaphosa will also utilise the visit to secure commitments from Japan regarding efforts to combat the scourge of HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. Similarly Deputy President Ramaphosa will seek to tap into the vast Japanese expertise and innovative technologies to increase collaboration in the fields of science and technology with a view to attracting essential skills in support of South Africa’s training and human resource development. In this context, South Africa and Japan will explore partnerships to promote innovation and technology to boost economic growth. This also comes within the context of South Africa’s implementation of the 9-point plan to strengthen the economy.

Simultaneously, Deputy President Ramaphosa will utilise the opportunity of the visit to strengthen alignment of South Africa and Japan’s approach to global issues of mutual concern including the enhancement of multilateral institutions and the reform of global political and economic governance.

The visit is also expected to consolidate the objectives of the African agenda through the strengthening of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) partnership by promoting increased trade, investment growth and infrastructure development in the continent of Africa. In this context South Africa continues to act within efforts of the African continent to facilitate African growth through Agenda 2063.

Accordingly, and at a political level Deputy President Ramaphosa and the high-level government delegation will pay courtesy calls on the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and hold discussions with the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party Sadakazu Tanigaki.

On trade and investment issues, Deputy President Ramaphosa will address the Japanese Captains of Industry, an organisation boosting a membership of about 1329 representative companies, 109 nation-wide industrial associations and 47 regional economic organisation.

Deputy President Ramaphosa is also expected to address the South Africa-Business Forum Plenary, chair a round-table discussion on investment in energy and meet with the Vice-President of Jetro, Tomiyasu Nakamura. Jetro is an organisation that promotes trade and investment between Japan the rest of the world. It also promotes foreign direct investment into Japan while assisting to small and medium size enterprises to maximise their global export potential.

Deputy President Ramaphosa will furthermore pay a site visit to Toyota plant in Tokyo which will include a presentation of the MIRAI Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle developed by the company.

In addition, Deputy President Ramaphosa will pay a visit to Miraikan – a Japanese national museum of emerging science and innovation located in Daiba, Tokyo. The visit will include ICT, manufacturing, engineering and the Advance Step Innovative Mobility- a humanoid robot developed by Honda. It is also used to encourage students to study science and mathematics. He will also meet with Hideaki Domichi, senior vice President of the Japan international co-operation Agency.

During his visit to Tokyo, Deputy President Ramaphosa will also seize the opportunity to hold discussions with Ambassador Yasushi Akashi on peace-building efforts, rehabilitation and reconstruction in Sri Lanka. Deputy President Ramaphosa is President Jacob Zuma’s Special Envoy to Sri Lanka.

Issued by: Ronnie Mamoepa at 082 990 4853

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