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Asia Trade Promotion Forum CEO Meeting in Hokkaido

October 2017

From October 6 to 7, the Asia Trade Promotion Forum (ATPF) CEO Meeting was held in Toyako Town, Hokkaido. The meeting was joined by 37 people from 20 countries and regions, and it was moderated by JETRO Chairman and CEO Hiroyuki Ishige on behalf of the host country.

Discussion on role of Trade Promotion Organizations

Under the theme of "the role of TPOs in free trade," Chairman Ishige emphasized in his keynote speech that inclusiveness is a critical issue to promote free trade and investment with focusing on human resource development. Following his keynote speech, participants engaged in lively discussions on a wide range of topics such as support of SMEs, vitalization of local regions and cultivation of human resources and shared examples of some of their most successful practices.


Plenary meeting


Keynote speech by Chairman Ishige

Discussion session

Breakout Meeting and Top Leaders Meeting as a new attempt to revitalize discussion

This CEO meeting included two new sessions, a "Breakout Meeting" and "Top Leaders Meeting," in an attempt to revitalize discussions. Through the Breakout Meeting a form of group discussion was introduced for the first time in the CEO Meeting in which participants were divided into three groups under the themes of "e-commerce," "cultivation and exchange of human resources" and "creation of innovation." In the Top Leaders Meeting, in which only CEOs or their proxies, were participated, member TPOs engaged in a frank exchange of opinions on management-related issues faced by each organization. With comments from participants such as "We were pleased to be able to exchange and share opinions with friends in the same position," the experience contributed to strengthening collaboration between CEOs who are tackling similar issues.


Breakout Meeting


Breakout Meeting

Breakout Meeting

Interaction with governor and local figures

During the plenary session, a "Hokkaido Session" and network reception were also held with the aim of conveying the attractiveness of Hokkaido to all the ATPF representatives. In the Hokkaido Session, presentations were made on the allure and potential of Hokkaido by Director Kojima of the Hokkaido Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry; Vice Governor Tsuji; and Chairman Sekihachi of the Hokkaido Tourism Organization. The network reception held at the end of the plenary session was joined by approximately 120 people including Hokkaido Governor Takahashi, Muroran City Mayor Aoyama and Toyako Town Mayor Maya, who took the opportunity to deepen relations with ATPF members. Participants also had a chance to taste Hokkaido through cuisine prepared with local ingredients.


Network reception


Greeting by Governor Takahashi

Networking with local companies

Experiencing the charm of Hokkaido through industrial tourism

The day following the meeting, an industrial tour was held for the participants to introduce the local industry in Hokkaido. At the first destination, Japan Steel Works, they took a look at a production site for Japanese swords, which could be called the epitome of Japanese craftsmanship, after receiving an explanation on the products, technology and history of the steelmaking plant. At the next destination, J Farm Corporation, they saw an example of cutting-edge Japanese agricultural cultivation at a plant factory controlled by IT technology. They also visited Northern Farm to learn about the breeding, nurturing and training of racehorses in the majestic nature of Hokkaido, and they learned the current state of affairs of the industry that the number of international buyers from the Asia and Oceania has increased. At the last destination, Hokkaido Hamanasu Foods, they observed the factory as well as they were given an explanation regarding the company's activities to enter the overseas market and for the promotion of employment of handicapped persons. Among the comments JETRO received from participants, particular praise was given to us that they were able to deepen their understanding of companies in Hokkaido through the advanced technologies.


Japan Steel Works


J Farm

Hokkaido Hamanas Foods

Outline of the 30th ATPF CEO Meeting

Date Friday, October 6 and Saturday, October 7, 2017
Place Toyako Town, Abuta District, Hokkaido
Organizer and secretariat Japan External Trade Organization
Participant TPOs Australian Trade Commission (AUSTRADE)
China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)
Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM)
Directorate General of National Export Development (DGNED), Indonesia
Department of International Trade Promotion of Thailand (DITP), Thailand
Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Bangladesh
General Department of Trade Promotion (GDTP), Cambodia
Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)
Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM)
India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO)
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA)
Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE)
Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brunei Darussalam (MOFAT)
Sri Lanka Export Development Board (SLEDB)
Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP)
Trade Promotion Department, Laos (DPD)
Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC)
Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE)