The trade relation between Nigeria and Japan is set to experience another boost with a Japanese trading house, Sumitomo Corp., listing Nigeria among countries being targeted with its brand of pharmaceutical products for livestock.
Buoyed by the belief that the population of animals is growing alongside humans, the firm is expecting a lucrative global drug market for livestock and pets in the near future, aiming for $1 billion in sales of pharmaceuticals for animals.
According to Asian Nikkei Review, the company, which bought an equity stake in China’s Shandong Sinder Technology in 2016, plans to expand its sales channels for Shandong Sinder products to other regions including Africa.
Already, it has signed a contract with a local sales agent in Kenya to sell livestock drugs, and is also considering an extension of the market to Nigeria.
Among Japan’s major trading houses, Sumitomo is especially interested in getting into the animal drug business, aiming for eventual annual sales of around $937 million.
The trade relations between Nigeria and Japan blossomed in over the last 50 years.
Last month, the Trade Commissioner, Japan External Trade Organisation, Taku Miyazaki, disclosed that Japan’s import from Nigeria from 2015 to 2017 was to the tune of $283.8 million, $849.56 million and $785.20 million, respectively.
He expressed optimism of improved trade relations with Nigeria as the Nigerian government intensified efforts at implementing Economic and Recovery Growth Plan.
According to him, Nigeria’s economy is on the path of rebound due to stable oil price, more forex liquidity and the government efforts at implementing ERGP.
Miyazaki noted that trade declined between both countries from 2015 to 2017 due to decreased natural gas import, lean harvest of sesame seeds in Nigeria and weak demand for some goods.
He said: “There was decline of 7.6 per cent of import value from Nigeria mainly because of the decrease of natural gas import.
“Natural gas is still dominant with more than 80 per cent of Japan’s import from Nigeria.
“Sesames seeds kept third despite 47 per cent decrease in value and 43 per cent in quantity, mainly due to the lean harvest in Nigeria.
“Aluminium refined from scraps surged by 46 per cent in value, accounting for 14 per cent of total import from Nigeria.”
According to hi, Japan’s export to Nigeria declined due to continuous weak demand in Nigeria, adding that export from Japan to Nigeria kept almost same level in spite of improved foreign exchange in the country.
He said: “Hot-rolled steel sheets and synthetic hairs dropped by 49 per cent and 43 per cent in quantity respectively, as not a few of Nigerian traders and consumers have shifted to items with lower prices, even some of which were substandard ones.
“Automobiles, once the biggest export item from Japan, still suffered from extremely weak demand coupled with incomplete implementation of auto policy.”
He said Nigeria’s lifting of ban on fish import from Japan in 2015 led to a surge of import of mackerel from Japan to Nigeria in the last two years, adding that Japan’s export of mackerels surged in the last two years, especially in 2017, six times more than that of the previous year, accounting for nearly 56,000 metric tonnes.”
Miyazaki said that there was a need to improve the bilateral trade relationship of both countries, noting that Japan was the third largest economy in the world, while Nigeria was the largest economy in Africa.
He said: “Improving trade between both countries would be mutually beneficial as Japan has been participating in transferring technology to local producers and will continue to assist Nigeria in its effort to diversify its economy.
“The presence of Japanese companies in Nigeria keeps increasing, and this shows the huge potential of Nigeria and the interest of Japanese companies to explore and forge strategic partnership with their Nigerian counterparts.”
Source: New Telegraph