Japanese investment in the South African economy : prospects for the future
Nel, Philip Rudolph
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Since its transition to democracy, South Africa has been expecting a significant increase in investment from Japan. Reciprocal state visits and economic missions have been pointing towards a possible rapid expansion of economic relations. Has there been a substantial increase in investment from Japan since South Africa’s transition to democracy? Actions taken by Japanese companies on the investment front show a different picture than the optimistic one painted by government officials and ministries. The reality is that South Africa is not yet an important investment destination for Japan. This is despite the presence of companies such as Toyota, Nissan, and Mitsubishi in South Africa since the apartheid era. The automotive sector, mainly as a result of the Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP), and the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) are the most promising prospects for future investment from Japan. The challenge for South Africa is to increase Japanese investor confidence in its economy. The creation of a possible synergy between Japan’s Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) and the South African-led New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) must be explored. Other recommendations include building stronger ties with influential business groups such as the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), and widening the scope of trade and investment beyond the large and established corporations to also include more small and medium enterprises. Although the outlook is bleak for a short-term substantial increase in Japanese investment, the continuing facilitation of stronger relations between Japan and South Africa may produce encouraging results over the long-term.
Please cite this item using this persistent URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/3418
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