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South Africa's trade department and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have signed an agreement to promote quality and productivity improvement technologies in South Africa.

JICA was established in 1974 under the jurisdiction of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The main objective of this government organization is to promote economic and social development in emerging countries and maintain international stability.

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) and JICA signed a technical cooperation agreement, which will be implemented through a training program called Quality and Productivity Improvement (QPI).

The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Nomalungelo Gina, explained that the objective of this program is to help promote cooperation between management and workers in companies and organizations.

"The benefits created by the QPI activities should be fairly distributed among management, workers and customers to promote the welfare of people and reduce disparity in society," Gina said, SA News reported. "Creating a functional training delivery system is one of the most critical issues for the success of the project."

Gina noted that members of this program should share common values of QPI promotion in South Africa to ensure there is better business competitiveness and create job opportunities.

The training program will start in the Gauteng province from Monday onwards and the launch ceremony will be held in Sandton City on the same day.

Aside from the training program, JICA provides various kinds of assistance to developing countries in several sectors like infrastructure development, education, healthcare, agriculture, and governance.

Considering the technical cooperation, JICA sends volunteers and experts to developing countries in order to share knowledge and upgrade skills. One of JICA's aims is to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

So far, JICA has provided assistance to a wide range of countries like India, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, Tanzania, Uganda, Peru, Kenya, and Myanmar.

South Africa, on the other hand, has requested the United States government to extend their African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade agreement earlier to encourage investors for additional investment in the country. South Africa's trade agreement with AGOA will expire in 2025.