Investing in Japan
Latest Updates"Niigata" Niigata Investment Seminar for Foreign Affiliates -Advantages of Niigata as a Business Location-
Jan 23, 2017
Niigata Prefecture held the Niigata Investment Seminar for Foreign Affiliates in November 2016. This is the first seminar to promote foreign investment in Niigata since the prefecture launched all-out promotional efforts in 2015. At the seminar, the local government called for investment in the food industry, which has the biggest share of all industries in Niigata, and drew attention to the attractiveness of the region, citing convenient access by the Shinkansen (bullet train) and expressway, its rich natural environment essential for sustained business activities, various incentives and support systems.
Niigata stands out as the top rice producer in Japan. It boasts a value of 260 billion yen in food manufacturing production and is currently heavily investing in food processing through collaboration between industry, academia and government. The Niigata Agricultural Research Institute Food Research Center developed milling technology to produce fine, high quality rice flour which is less susceptible to being damaged in the process. One example of industry-academia-government collaboration, meanwhile, is Niigata University working together with businesses to conduct clinical trials on low-protein rice and developing high value-added brown rice products.
Niigata boasts a solid high-speed transportation infrastructure taking advantage of its location at a node connecting the Kanto, Kansai and Tohoku regions. It has developed an industrial park which takes full advantage of its abundant water resources. The prefecture has also pushed forth incentives such as the Foreign Company Business Promotion Subsidy, an incentive for new business siting in Niigata, and the Preferential Treatment for Headquarter Transfer/Expansion Program.
Source: Niigata Prefecture website
In the seminar, Mr. Kuwabara from Niigata Prefecture highlighted Niigata’s advantageous siting conditions, the prefecture’s efforts in promotion of the food industry and its abundant energy resource deposits. He said, “Niigata’s natural gas production accounts for more than 70% of that of the entire country, making its deposits the most precious trove of gas resources in Japan. They also allow us to offer comparatively cheaper gas utilities.” He also explained that Niigata City has been designated as a “Special International Business Start-up Zone” since 2006 and that foreign businesses entering the city are granted an “intra-company transfer” residence status as early as the run-up stage to setting up business in Niigata.
Mr. Ooseki from Tainai Corporation explained the potential of food merchandize made of 100% rice flour, signifying his company’s anticipated direction in years to come.
Mr. Fujisaki from Kameda Seika Co., Ltd. emphasized the advantages that Nigata’s food-related technology and natural resources offer. He made an appeal for taking up the food related business in the prefecture.
Mr. Yoshioka from TableMark Co., Ltd. focused on the benefit of siting in Niigata. He said, "The key factors that brought us here were the convenient access to the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, the abundant high-quality ground water and its rich natural environment. Currently, we are engaged in production of processed rice goods at a rate of 1,500 servings a month at two factories in the prefecture. Niigata offers conditions essential for food production."
The seminar had a total of 50 participants including people from 16 foreign-affiliated companies. Many participants also came from foreign diplomatic establishments and chambers of commerce stationed in Japan. In the networking session, dishes of food from Niigata were served. Participants praised the seminar, saying “We want to develop new products with Niigata.” “This was an opportunity to recognize afresh the essence of food from Niigata.”
(Invest Japan Corporate Division, Invest Japan Department, JETRO)
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Industrial Establishment Division
Niigata Prefectural Government