Japan is keen to aid collaborations between Japanese and Indian companies in various African countries in focus areas such as automobile parts, infrastructure and energy projects, home appliances and power machineries, and has come forward to facilitate “business matching”.
The Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), the country’s foreign trade promotion body, will provide support to Japanese and Indian companies which try to establish and expand their businesses in Africa and will connect business partners and financial bodies, Yasuyuki Murahashi, Chief Director General of JETRO India, said.
“We at JETRO are committed to provide various support to Japanese and Indian companies who try to expand their businesses in Africa through our five offices situated in India,” he said.
Japan is the fourth largest investor in the Indian economy with cumulative FDI inflows of $33.5 billion during 2000-20, contributing 7.2 per cent to India’s total FDI inflows during the same period.
With the Japanese government recently making India and Bangladesh part of a $230-million subsidy programme (earlier restricted to only ASEAN) aimed at helping Japanese companies in China to relocate to other countries, prospects of Indo-Japanese collaboration have increased.
As per a latest analysis paper on the ‘platform for Japan-India business cooperation in Asia-Africa region’, a B2B platform launched by JETRO and industry body CII in December 2019, complementarities would emerge between Japanese companies and Indian companies with the facilitation of collaborations. The two sides hope that the platform will play a key role in fostering such collaborations.
“The greatest concern for Japanese companies foraying into Africa is of ‘dealing with the laws and regulations and the operational aspect’, and about 90 per cent of companies regard it as a risk,” examined in JETRO survey. Indian private companies, on the other hand, have their familiarity, long- term presence and acceptability in African countries.
“Both sides can use network of the partner companies, can share technologies to make their products and services affordable, aligning to local market preference, can provide training for local people together, and can share the financial burden in projects,” the analysis suggested.
There are various success stories in the area of building of trilateral partnership between India, Japan and Africa and attempts are on to strengthen these.
“Automotive parts export from Indian factories to Africa is already happening. Maruti Suzuki is exporting auto parts to Egypt and Algeria. It invited African sales managers to India and is providing them with training too. Toyota Kirloskar and DENSO are also active in the area,” pointed out Murahashi.