When I think of China and Japan foreign investment policy, I see two rival siblings, who are racing to outdo the other. All in the name of proving one is better than the other. Though this is not a professional economist’s opinion, I would say that as far as investments in Africa is concerned, China seems to be way ahead of Japan and other Asian countries including India.
So I am taken aback to learn that Japan is considering asking China to pair-up in some of the infrastructure development projects in Africa, instead of competing for them. A sort of synergy between the two great Asian economies, instead of competition.
This news came by on Sunday, from what appears to be sourced from within the Japanese government. Apparently, Tokyo is leaning towards Japan-China joint development for infrastructures in Africa.
This news comes against the backdrop of the two countries working on improving bilateral ties. This latest of these efforts come in October when Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will pay China a visit.
During the trip, Japan hopes Tokyo and Beijing could come to an agreement on collaborating in some of the African infrastructure development projects. Japan is hoping it could rope in China on the construction of roads across several West African countries before Abe’s trip.
For the roads in West Africa, Tokyo has already pledged $315 million in loans and grants. The road will transverse several countries such as Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso. In total, the roads will run for over 4,000 kilometers.
Though the two countries have had a frosty relationship, it seems the ice is thawing. Especially after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Japan in May, effectively becoming the first highest-ranking Chinese official to visit Japan in seven years.