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ATPF Working-Level Meeting in Hamamatsu

May 2015

Discussing future development of trade and investment exchange in Asia

On May 28 and 29, JETRO organized a working-level meeting of the Asian Trade Promotion Forum (ATPF) in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture with 33 participants from trade promotion organizations (TPOs) of 22 countries and region including JETRO. Prior to the meeting, the 10th ATPF Capacity Building Initiative Program was also held in the same city on May 26 and 27 to deepen understanding about the regional business matching (RBM), which JETRO has recently promoted within the ATPF.

Participants discussed topics such as initiatives to support global procurement of companies in Asia, cooperation for a biannual joint exhibition hosted by member organizations and mutual assistance to promote investment in member countries. A post event tour to industrial sites in Hamamatsu was also provided to introduce local industries to overseas participants.

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Scene of meeting

Holding meetings in leading industrial city in Japan

Hamamatsu, the venue of this meeting, is a leading industrial city in Japan. Since 2011, JETRO has organized the ATPF Working-Level Meeting in local cities around Japan to help form connections between these areas and the rest of Asia. This year, JETRO introduced attractive local industries in Hamamatsu to the participants through both events: the Capacity Building Initiative Program and the Working-Level Meeting.

The Capacity Building Initiative Program offered an opportunity for the participants to gain insight about RBM and industrial clusters, which are produced by industry-academia-government collaboration, through lectures and visits to local public organizations and private companies which have utilized the Regional Industry Tie-up (RIT) Program provided by JETRO.

During the Working-Level Meeting, a networking event was convened on Day 1 inviting senior officials from local governments, including Hamamatsu Mayor Yasutomo Suzuki, business people of local companies and students coming to this city from other countries. A lively exchange of views was made between the ATPF members and these guests. At the beginning, a ceremonial breaking of a sake barrel was held with “Hananomai”, a well-known brand of Japanese alcohol from Hamamatsu. Traditional local cuisine cooked from agricultural and livestock ingredients of the city were also served. Official mascots of Hamamatsu City, “Ieyasu-kun - the Daimyo of Success,” and Kikugawa City, “Kikunon,” also joined the event. These special guests brought a lot of excitement to the venue and gave participants a chance to appreciate Japan’s unique mascot culture.

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Opening remarks by Hamamatsu Mayor Suzuki

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Networking event

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Participant interacting with Ieyasu-kun and Kikunon

Building cooperative framework to promote investment exchange and support corporate procurement

In Asia, where cross-border business is expanding, the relationship between trade and investment has grown even closer. In response to this trend, the Working-Level Meeting officially included a session for investment for the first time. In this investment session, discussions were made regarding the activities by member organizations to attract inward direct investment, current status of the Information Sharing Scheme on Investment Deals and enrollment of investment promotion organizations into the ATPF. Views were also exchanged regarding the Supplier Matching Support Scheme to support global procurement by companies. This scheme aims at resolving issues such as lack of information about procurement and difficulty in finding customers for products. The participants delivered their specific opinions about how to use these schemes.

Industrial tour to automobile and food companies

To introduce local industries in Hamamatsu to the ATPF members, an industrial tour around the city was organized following the meeting. At the Suzuki Plaza, they learned about the development path of one of Japan’s representative automobile manufacturers and the underlying Japanese monozukuri culture. At a factory of Shunkado, a confectionary in Hamamatsu famous for its “Unagi (eel) Pie”, an occasion was set up for the members to think about regional revitalization through manufacturing and distributing food products which embody the particular characteristics of each area. With positive comments from the participants including “I had an invaluable experience through learning about the manufacturing process of vehicles,” and “It was fascinating to discover the distinctive food in the area”, this event offered an excellent opportunity for participants to appreciate the allures of Hamamatsu.

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Visit to Suzuki Plaza

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Tour around Shunkado factory

Outline of 24th Asian Trade Promotion Forum Working Level Meeting
Organizer/secretariat Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
Date May 28-29, 2015
Capacity Building Initiative Program: May 26-27
Industrial tourism event: May 29
Venue Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture
Participated organizations AUSTRADE: Australian Trade Commission
CCPIT: China Council for the Promotion of International Trade
CITEM: Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (Philippines)
DGNED: the Directorate General of National Export Development (Indonesia)
DITP: Department of International Trade Promotion (Thailand)
DTP: The Department of Trade Promotion (Myanmar)
FNCCI: Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce & Industry
HKTDC: Hong Kong Trade Development Council
IE Singapore: International Enterprise Singapore
IPIM: Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute
ITPO: India Trade Promotion Organisation
JETRO: Japan External Trade Organization
KOTRA: Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency
MATRADE: Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation
MOFAT: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Brunei)
MNCCI: Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Mongolia)
SLEDB: Sri Lanka Export Development Board
TDAP: Trade Development Authority of Pakistan
TPD: Trade Promotion Department (Cambodia)
TPPD: Trade and Product Promotion Development (Laos)
TWTC: Taipei World Trade Center
VIETRADE: Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency
* The Asian Trade Promotion Forum (ATPF) is a gathering of Trade Promotion Organizations (TPOs) in the Asian region. Advocated by JETRO, it was established in 1987, and currently has 24 members. The objective of the ATPF is to enhance trade in the region through information exchange, implementation of cooperative projects and strengthening networks among ATPF members.