COPENHAGEN: Already the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent, with 1.2 billion people as of 2016, Africa accounts for about 16% of the World’s human population and it is predicted that, by 2034, it will have a larger workforce than China or India. However, maintaining trade with advanced economies such as Japan is crucial to sustaining Africa’s economic growth.
This is according to Masahiko Shirai, Japan Country Manager at Safmarine – a member of A.P. Moller – Maersk – who recently hosted customers in Tokyo. “Japan-Africa trade has seen significant growth over recent years and our hope is that platforms such as this customer event will further strengthen ties with our Japanese customers by highlighting future economic growth opportunities on the continent.”
With over 100 years’ experience of doing business in Africa, A.P. Moller – Maersk has operations in almost every country across the continent. “We know Africa better than anybody else in the industry and remain committed to connecting this booming continent to the rest of the world. In order to do this effectively, it is essential that we continue to highlight the vast economic potential of the African region.”
“Recent data from IMF, McKinsey Institute, World Bank and Citibank confirms this growing potential, stating that Africa will host the world’s second-fasted growing economies to 2020. With the advantage of a young and growing population, the continent is also experiencing rapid technological changes, which are unlocking new opportunities for consumers and business. Adding to this, is Africa’s abundant supply of resources and powerful urbanization rate – said to be the fastest in the world right now,” Shirai explains.
Maersk Line and Safmarine are positioned perfectly to foster opportunities along the Africa-Japan trade route, says Shirai. “We have a significant share in the region and the experience in creating solutions and partnering with customers to address their shipping needs. Further cementing our African footprint is the fact that we have a strong presence and network in the region, with over 1 200 local staff on hand and in touch with the local communities.”
Shirai concludes: “We believe the company’s change to become a global integrator of container logistics will position us to serve our customers better. Not just for the next five or 10 years, but for the next 100 years. At present, 10% of the overall business turn-over is generated in and around Africa and we remain committed to delivering superior customer experience in order to retain and grow developments in this area.”