African Business Support Policy Measures, Systems, and Schemes
As the invigoration of Japan’s business transactions with developing countries greatly contributes to private sector-led economic development in these countries and allows Japan to benefit from the growth of these countries and help vitalize innovation as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, the Japanese government has created and expanded various policy measures, systems and schemes that are implemented by public organizations like JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization), JICA, JBIC and the Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, Japan for supporting business transactions with developing countries. While most of them are used for Asian developing countries, they are growingly being applied to business transactions with Africa.
This section will invite government/public sector people to proactively introduce these schemes and will provide information about Africa-related business activities subject to these schemes.
There are mainly 3 types of systems and schemes related to African business support; 1) overseas expansion support for enterprises, 2) Support from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for Japanese enterprises and 3) Public-private schemes engaged with development aid.
To facilitate international trade between Japan and foreign countries and support overseas business of Japanese enterprises, JBIC provide financial service such as loans and investments, JOGMEC provide loans and investments for Japanese enterprises engaged in resources development and NEXI provide trade insurances.
Support overseas expansion of Japanese enterprises
To facilitate assistance to SMEs expanding into overseas markets, the Conference on Supporting SMEs in Overseas Business was established in October 2010 by bringing together government officials and support institutions, such as related government organizations, SME associations and financial institutions, with the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry serving as the chair.
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry also developed “The Framework for Supporting SMEs in Overseas Business”(in Japanese) in 2011. Please contact Trade Policy Bureau Middle Eastern and African department for inquiry regarding support for African business.
Information about policy measures, systems, and schemes for supporting SMEs in overseas business is summarized in a website of Small and Medium Enterprise Agency, “Supporting SMEs in Overseas Business” (in Japanese).
“Measures for Supporting SMEs in Overseas Business”(in Japanese) is published on the website. The document shows information about public agencies providing support and their support contents such as 1) Overseas information collection, 2) Advice for overseas extension, 3) Investigation and planning for commercialization, 4) Human resources development and recruiting of global and local subsidiary companies, 5) Development of overseas markets, 6) Product development and test marketing, 7) Fund-raising, 8) Risk management, 9) Intellectual property right and legal issue management and 10) Support before and after overseas expansion.
Information of government organizations supporting SMEs in overseas business is as following;
Support of Japan Finance Corporation (Micro and Small Businesses Unit) for overseas business
Some of these supports, despite they cover each area of overseas, might have not applied in Africa before. Also, some of these supports are not limited to SMEs.
Support from diplomatic establishments abroad for Japanese enterprises
In Africa, all diplomatic establishments abroad have “Business support service desk for Japanese enterprises” (in Japanese). Resident officers in charge are proactively giving advices and responding for support request.
In addition, the International Cooperation Bureau of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan has ODA Task Force for Supporting SMEs.
Contact Japanese Embassy in Africa (in Japanese)
Public-private partnership in development assistance
Africa is key area in development assistance. The development projects are implemented based on the assumption of proactive participation of private enterprises, and also providing business chances to them.
In particular, active use of SMEs and our excellent technologies is encouraged in ODA implementation. Furthermore, there are a wide variety of schemes to encourage Japanese enterprise’s active launch and great efforts in the BOP business that contribute to poverty reduction of developing countries.
Schemes that are related to ODA implementation and invest in business support of Japanese enterprises are as following;
JICA projects cooperated with private sector (2013) (in Japanese)
*For further information, please go to JICA’s cooperated webpage (JICA’s schemes for private sector cooperation) (in Japanese)
JETRO “BOP/Volume Zone Business Support Coordinator” (in Japanese)
For Information about business chances provided by implementation of development projects, please go to “African Development Support and Business Opportunities”
Financial support (JBIC, JOGMEC, NEXI)
To support overseas business and international trade of Japanese enterprises, JBIC provide financial services such as loans and investments. We also provide information about foreign affairs and investment conditions and offer advices about way of raising long-term funds to small and medium-sized enterprises.
JOGMEC provide loans and make joint investments for Japanese enterprises engaged in resources/energy prospecting/developments.
NEXI trade insurances covers uncontrollable risks/deficits that arise from foreign transactions such as export and import, overseas loan and foreign investment.
Risks/deficits which the counterpart in foreign countries is responsible are also covered.
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