JETRO: Facilitating trade and Business Partnerships
Until now, JETRO had various activities in Africa such as holding business seminars, sending business missions, initiating the Africa Investment Promotion Forum, offering consultation services on trade and investment and allocating business coordinators. With the success of its initiatives, the Japanese government related organization is set to expand trade and investment between Japan and Kenya with a follow up Entrepreneur Business Mission in Kenya writes Corporate Watch Magazine’s Ker Mogallo.
- JETRO, or the Japan External Trade Organization, is a government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world.
- Established in 1958 to promote Japanese exports abroad, JETRO’s core focus in the 21st century has shifted toward promoting foreign direct investment into Japan and helping small and medium sized Japanese firms maximize their global export potential.
- JETRO has eight offices in Africa: Kenya,Egypt, Ethiopia, Cotedivoire, South Africa, Mozambique, Morocco and Nigeria.
- JETRO in the future will be focusing more on facilitating investments in Africa by Japanese companies, two way trade promotion, supporting African infrastructure development by Japanese companies and contributing to local industries and human resource development.
Following the success of TICAD VI, JETRO is set to dispatch an Entrepreneur Mission to Kenya in a bid to further extend trade and business ties between Kenya and Japan. The mission scheduled to kick off on 5th and run through to the 7th of February 2018, will see a delegation of Japanese entrepreneurs and companies that desire to start up businesses in Kenya or are considering setting up branches in Kenya interact with Kenyan entrepreneurs in what is expected to culminate into partnerships.
A key objective of TICAD VI was to mobilize support for Africa’s socio-economic development, peace and security, governance and human rights agendas. In this respect, TICAD underscored the spirit of “African ownership” and “international partnership” and was structured as a multilateral forum inclusive of a wide range of strategic partnerships. In this regard, JETRO’s entrepreneur Business Mission to Kenya is a Promotion of action plans from TICAD that fronted structural economic transformation through economic diversification and industrialization.
‘Kenya, being a regional business hub in East Africa, has over the years provided great business opportunities for Japanese companies. With this forum we expect and hope for new partnerships that will foster developmental ties between Japanese firms and Kenyan companies as well as individual entrepreneurs,’ said Director JETRO Mr. Hiroyuki Shimakawa, in an exclusive interview with the Corporate Watch Magazine.
The mission consists of 16 members drawn from 12 companies and organizations. The mission, with its main focus on ICT is expected to visit the iHub incubation center, Kenya’s telecommunication giant Safaricom, the local venture enterprise in Naivasha as well as other organizations for an overview of the Kenyan business environment particularly focusing on the leading edge business models through use of mobile money and its penetration in Kenya.
Speaking to the Corporate Magazine at the Nairobi JETRO offices, Director Hiroyuki Shimakawa noted that through the Kenya Investment Authority, a MoU between Japan and Kenya is already in place that has seen JETRO assume the role as a bridge between companies from the two regions. With a global network spanning over 74 regional offices abroad and over 45 offices within Japan, JETRO is continuously using this network to contribute to a two-way expansion of trade and investment between japan and the rest of the world. The organization’s ability to connect between business and government, business and business and people and people has been fronted as its key pillar in ensuring mutual benefits among partner countries.
JETRO has promoted business developments in Africa through supporting African companies for participation in trade fairs such as the Foodex, implementing the One Village One Product program and the Demonstration program for Develop and Import Formulas, dispatching experts to African companies to provide advice for product development for the Japanese market and so on.
. JETRO being in the frontline in the actualization of the development of Africa and in the realization of vision 2030 is focused on growing partnerships in which Japan with its brilliant expertise in infrastructure, technological services, industrial parts and other sectors can merge to spur business relations among the two countries.
Apart from visiting the Kenyan companies and the iHub incubation centres, the mission will attend the JETRO Entrepreneur Business Forum scheduled for the afternoon of 6th February. The forum will be an open session where information on the startup business environment, the regulation and procedure of setting up the company will be shared. The session will also include a business model studies with mission members and guests.
‘JETRO has in the past had various activities in Africa, however, this mission will be the first entrepreneur business mission to Kenya. It is expected to be the beginning of fruitful collaborations and partnerships,’ commented the JETRO country Director.
Looking into the future, JETRO is consolidating a mutual beneficial relationship between Japan and Africa and will be focusing more on facilitating investments in Africa by Japanese companies, two way trade promotion, supporting African infrastructure development by Japanese companies and contributing to local industries and human resource development.