Japan has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen trade relations with Nigeria, resulting in a substantial increase in Nigeria’s exports to Japan, reaching 1,250,470,000 USD (N975.3 billion). This figure nearly doubled the 2021 export total of 759,265,000 USD (N592.2 billion).
Conversely, Japan’s imports to Nigeria were estimated at 248,577,000 USD in 2022, a decrease from 287,331,000 USD in 2021, according to the Trade Office.
The Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, expressed Japan’s recognition of the vast potential of the Nigerian economy and its commitment to deepening economic ties with Nigeria. He made this statement at the Japan Pavilion during the ongoing International Trade Fair in Lagos.
Reportedly, 33 Japanese companies are participating in the trade fair out of the 55 Japanese companies present in Nigeria. The Japanese Ambassador highlighted the longstanding economic relationship between the two nations, with Japan’s trade office (now the Japan External Trade Organization – JETRO) having been established in Lagos in 1939, preceding the formal diplomatic relations in 1960.
Ambassador Kazuyoshi noted that Nigeria boasts a substantial economy, a large population, abundant natural resources, a growing workforce, and a rich culture. He also mentioned the increasing global interest in Nigeria’s potential. In his words, “To truly achieve economic growth in Nigeria, trade and investment play an indispensable role. They serve as the catalyst for job creation, higher productivity, capital access, learning and innovation, and technology spillovers. In this context, Lagos is the gateway to attracting foreign investment into Nigeria, and the Lagos International Trade Fair 2023 will be a distinct showcase of the momentum for growth through trade and investment.”
He further emphasized Japan’s eagerness to work with Nigeria to contribute to economic diversification and future growth in the country.
Takashi Oku, the Managing Director/Trade Commissioner of JETRO, highlighted the trading dynamics between the two countries. Nigeria is a net exporter of natural gas and sesame to Japan, while Japan exports cars and machinery to Nigeria. Oku pointed out that they have investments in Nigeria, with about 51 Japanese companies operating in the country. Both nations enjoy robust trade relations, and JETRO is collaborating with Nigerian companies to introduce more products into the Nigerian market. Furthermore, the number of participants in the trade fair has increased compared to the previous year, indicating the growing interest and commitment to trade relations between Japan and Nigeria.