The Japanese government and the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc have entered into an agreement to accelerate the development and growth of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises across Africa.
The two parties met during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, sharing a similar interest for the African continent. The agreement will see both the Japan External Trade Organisation and the Nigerian lender promote activities that will transform lives and grow businesses and trade across Africa and the world.
UBA Chairman, Tony Elumelu had stated in a Nairametrics report that the need to attract more global capital inflow to Africa compelled him to attend the World Economic Forum, where he intended to meet with global leaders who have control capital. This partnership is in line with UBA’s pledge to support Entrepreneurship in Nigeria and across Africa.
The collaboration was made public during the visit of members of the Japan External Trade Organisation, led by its Chief Executive Officer, Hiroyuki Ishige, to the UBA House in Lagos.
Value of JETRO visit
The visit of members of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) to Nigeria will attract global attention to the country, according to Elumelu. These are investors with track record across other African countries, and they are willing to extend their investment in small and medium businesses to Nigeria.
“When global leaders visit a country, they bring global attention. These investors who came from Davos have seen Nigeria as a business destination and have come to the country for the first time to visit us and see how things work here. The fact is that we all share the same passion to help transform lives and businesses around the world.
“We are aware of the various investments you have made recently to develop Africa and African businesses and this is what we also stand for at UBA, developing enterprises across the African continent. We believe that this visit will mark significant milestones and progress as we work towards empowering the youths and small and medium scale businesses.” Elumelu said.
Exporting and expansion of local SMEs
The CEO of JETRO, Ishige while addressing the audience during the visit, stated the organisation is committed to expanding foreign small and medium enterprises by collaborating with local governments and other relevant bodies to provide the needed support.
“As a company, the Japan Trade Organisation fully utilises domestic and overseas networks consisting of about 50 domestic bases, promotes investment, agriculture, forestry and fishery products.
“We will actively and efficiently work on exporting food products and on supporting overseas expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises, and contribute to Japanese corporate activities as well as trade policies through surveys and research,” Ishige said.