A delegation from the Japanese Business Federation (KEIDANREN) paid a courtesy call on the SADC Secretariat on Thursday February 18, 2016. The 14 Member delegation was led by Mr. Kunio Noji, Chairman of the Board of Komatsu Ltd, and Mr. Yutaka Kase, Chairman of the Board, Sojitz Corporation. These two are co-Chairs of the Committee on Sub-Saharan Africa of KEIDANREN. The delegation was accompanied by the Ambassador of Japan to Botswana and SADC, Mr. Masahiro Onishi. Mr. Noji and Mr. Kase informed the SADC Executive Secretary, H.E. Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, that KEIDANREN was keen to seize more investment opportunities in the SADC Region. "SADC is a very important Region to Japanese Investors. It currently accounts to over 50% shares of trade between Japan and the African continent and is home to over 100 Japanese companies, and the interest is growing", said Mr. Noji. on his part, Mr. case emphasized that Japanese companies are keen to continue strengthening the relationship that exist between them and the SADC Region, and that they are convinced SADC will benefit from high technology and expertise offered by Japanese investors.
The delegation visited SADC following SADC mission to Japan in November, 2015, that was led by the SADC Executive Secretary. The SADC Team did meet, among others, representatives of the Japanese businesses and investors and encouraged them to invest in SADC's priority areas.
Dr. Tax welcomed the delegation to the SADC Secretariat and to the SADC Region. She reiterated SADC's resolve to attract more investors from Japan. Dr. Tax informed the delegation that under the SADC Free Trade Area configuration, investors enjoy free tariff and an integrated market of 15 SADC Member States, with a combined GDP of USD $686 billion (as of 2014), a combined population of 294 million (294 estimates) and investment opportunities across sectors. She further informed the delegation that SADC has in place a compendium of investment opportunities in the areas of energy, transport and ICT that the Japanese corporations are welcome to invest in. She called on them to support the Scoping energy Master plan currently under development in collaboration with Japan. She thanked the delegation for sending a high level representation of major Japanese Companies. KEIDANREN delegation included representatives from Komatsu Ltd, Sojitz Corporation, Itochu Corporation, JGC Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, Mizuho Bank Ltd. and SUMITOMO Corporation.