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Toshiba Establishes Johannesburg Office Company Aiming to Double Southern Africa Sales

8 October, 1997


Johannesburg -- Japanese electronic giant Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has opened a representative office in Johannesburg that will reinforce its presence in South Africa and the wider region. The office's primary mission is to support the activities of the parent company, as it seeks to enhance its presence in the regional markets for information and communications equipment, consumer products, heavy electrical apparatus and electronic components.

The new office will survey market trends and gather information on the southern African business environment, and support Toshiba Corporation in developing regional business strategies across its business range. The office will also identify potential suppliers of components and materials and be the official representative of Toshiba throughout southern Africa.

Commenting on the opening of Johannesburg office, Mr. Kanichi Ito, executive vice-president for international affairs at Toshiba Corp. said, "South Africa is on an economic upswing that is giving a boost to the wider region. Our exports to South Africa are growing, a trend that we are sure will continue, and that alone justifies a full-time presence here. We believe that Toshiba can contribute to regional development with power plant and other infrastructure, and also offer a wide range of office automation and home electronics products."

Heading the new office is Mr. Keiichi Kawabe, former vice president of Toshiba's heavy electrical apparatus subsidiary in the US. He will initially have a staff of three, with further transfers from Japan and additional local hires expected. Commenting on the choice of location, Mr. Kawabe said: "Johannesburg is the ideal choice for our operations. It is at the heart of the regional economy of southern Africa, home to many businesses, and offers excellent transportation and communications."

Operating through distributors and trading companies, Toshiba recorded total sales in southern Africa of 100 million Rand (2.5 billion yen) in fiscal 1996, a figure it aims to double over the next few years. The company is active in various business fields, particularly in South Africa, where it is well known for consumer products, including its popular colour TVs, videos and air-conditioners. Toshiba markets its complete line-up of world-leading notebook PCs in South Africa, where it is also the leading supplier of medical ultrasound systems. The company has supplied a wide range of heavy electrical apparatus, including electric locomotives, and power generation and distribution equipment. One notable business activity was the company's supply of turbines for the Drakensberg hydropower station.

Toshiba previously operated an office in South Africa to support supply of electric power equipment. Opened in 1967, it was closed in March 1989.

About Toshiba Corporation
Toshiba was established in Tokyo in 1875. Today, it is one of the world's largest integrated manufacturers of electric and electronic products and systems, with businesses in information and communications systems, information media and consumer products, heavy electrical apparatus and electronic components and materials. In fiscal 1996 Toshiba registered sales of 5,453 billion yen and had 186,000 employees worldwide.

The company is a major player in consumer products, and information equipment such as PCs, mobile phones and copiers. It is the world leader in portable PCs. Toshiba pioneered development of DVD and is a recognized leader in DVD technology and products. Toshiba's strength in computers and communications are also integrated in systems and networks which support industry and public services. The company offers a complete range of medical systems, including MRI and X-ray computed tomography systems, and is the world leader of ultrasound diagnostic equipment. In heavy electrical apparatus, Toshiba is a leader in thermal, hyrdoelectric and nuclear power generation, and is developing advanced fuel cells and power transmission and distribution systems. Its industrial electrical equipment and machinery business includes railway equipment, elevators and escalators. In electronic components and materials, Toshiba is one of the world's top semiconductor manufacturers, and is also a major supplier of products such as flat panel displays and picture tubes.

Outline of Johannesburg Office
Official nameToshiba Corporation Johannesburg Representative Office
AddressPO Box 78234 Sandton 2146, Republic of South Africa
General ManagerKeiichi Kawabe
StaffFour (Initially)
ResponsibilitesMarket surveys, information gathering,
representative function


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