Some of Japan's leading banks have signed collaboration agreements with various African financial services providers with the aim of boosting Japanese trade and investment on the continent.

As a result of the agreements, letters of credit (L/Cs) are expected to become more available for trade between Japan and Africa.

The agreements were signed during meetings at the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in the Japanese city of Yokohama.

Sumitomo Mitsui

Ahead of the meetings, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking said it would sign five memorandums of understanding (MoUs) in Yokohama.

The Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group unit's African partners will include Kenya Commercial Bank.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking currently offers financial services in 42 African nations, and the new agreements will lift that number to 48, spanning nearly the entire continent.

Mizuho Bank

Mizuho Bank said it would partner with South Africa's Standard Bank Group and Morocco's Attijariwafa Bank to establish specialist units for Japanese corporate clients.

All of the banks' partnerships aim to make it easier for Japanese companies access to local currency loans.

Growing presence

The agreements at the seventh TICAD build on the increasing presence of Japanese financial institutions in Africa.

In July, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group bank signed an MoU with the 14-member Africa Trade Insurance Agency in a deal that makes it possible for the bank to take on higher-risk companies and projects.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.