Japan remains an important long-term investor in South Africa's economy, says the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Bulelani Magwanishe.
Japan has over the years invested in the automotive sector, information and communication technology (ICT) and as South Africa, we will continuously cooperate and work with them for future investments.
With that said, there are still vast opportunities for them to invest and collaborate with us in productive sectors like energy, agro-processing, ICT and skills development, said Magwanishe on Monday.
The Deputy Minister was speaking during a breakfast engagement with Japanese investors hosted on the sidelines of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) VII Ministerial meeting in Tokyo.
Magwanishe also congratulated Sumitomo rubber industries on the recent launch of their R970 million truck and bus tyre plant in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal. He also extended a congratulatory word on Tokyo Marine's acquisition of a 22.2% stake in South Africa's Hollard Insurance to the tune of R5 billion.
Furthermore, Magwanishe invited potential investors to attend the planned Presidential Investment Conference that will take place later this month.
Turning his attention to land reform, the Deputy Minister assured investors that the matter will be addressed in a proper manner that observes legal processes and public comment.
He said the process will be transparent and done in a responsible manner that won't pose a threat to food security in South Africa.
South Africa has 60% of land that is not cultivated, and this is an area where we can work together not only to export raw materials but move up the value chain. InvestSA, a division of the dti also has a memorandum of understanding and partnership with the major Japanese banks to facilitate investments into the country.
The National Assembly in February this year adopted a motion to amend the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation. The matter was subsequently referred to the Joint Constitutional Review Committee.
The South African government has reiterated that it is committed to a fair and sustainable land restitution and redistribution process.
Magwanishe said TICAD remains important for the African Union, as it has the potential to support African countries to industrialise their economies; create sustainable, inclusive growth and with it, sustainable employment opportunities and a better future for their people.
The opening ceremony of TICAD got underway on Saturday.
TICAD was launched in 1993 by the Japanese government to promote Africa's development, peace and security, through the strengthening of relations in multilateral cooperation and partnership.
Last month, South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry (dti) led a week-long investment mission to the island nation. The mission was part of government's investment drive to attract $100 billion worth of investments in the next five years.
Source: South African Government News Agency