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Invest Japan Seminar in Munich

January 2018

On January 17, JETRO held the Japan Economic Forum in Munich, Germany, with the aim of attracting FDI into Japan and facilitating business collaboration between Germany and Japan. In the seminar, the attractiveness of Japan’s investment environment was introduced to over 100 audience members by JETRO Executive Vice President Shigeki Maeda, and representatives from three German companies with an established presence in Japan in the respective fields of automobiles, Industry 4.0 and machinery.

Expectation for FDI into Japan and further business collaboration between both countries

In his guest speech, Consul General Tetsuya Kimura of the Japanese Consulate General in Munich encouraged German companies to invest in Japan in order to further vitalize Japan's economy, and expressed his hope for the development of partnership between Germany and Japan. This was followed by Dr. Markus Wittmann; from the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology; which jointly organized the forum. Underlining the fact that Japan is Bavaria’s second biggest economic partner, he stated that two-way investment between the state and Japan will lead to the further creation of jobs and facilitate the development of new technologies. Director Rita Roider of Munich’s Department of Labor and Economics explained the function of the city as a digital hub, and stated that her department will continue to assist German companies in investing into Japan.

Venue with full audience participation

In his keynote speech, delivered in German, JETRO Executive Vice President Maeda spoke on bilateral FDI relations between the two countries and the attractiveness of the Japan’s investment environment, looking back on the history of the Germany-Japan economic relationship, and illustrated the business opportunities available in Japan for German companies. He made a case for setting up a base in Japan and then using that foothold to expand into the rest of Asia. Following him, Shuhei Oyake; Vice President of the Product Business Line at Fujitsu Technology Solutions GmbH; introduced several cases of collaboration his company has had with German companies in the field of data analysis systems in Germany.

Keynote speech by JETRO Executive Vice President Maeda

Benefits of incorporation in Japan according to three German companies

Representatives from three German companies which have succeeded in establishing business sites in Japan through JETRO's support, took the podium under the theme of "best practices." Dr. Tobias Huber, Area Sales Manager for Japan at Beckhoff Automation GmbH & Co. KG, touched on the reason for his company’s investment in the market, saying that the aim was to first grow in Japan, then expand business overseas. He continued that doing business in Japan requires endurance and patience. Stephan Weitzel; Managing Director at EJOT GmbH & Co. KG, which specializes in advanced fastening technology; extended his appreciation for JETRO's support in establishing its subsidiary in Japan, and enthusiastically spoke on his intention to further develop business in the country. The last speaker, Frank Wiemer; Managing Director at iwis motorsysteme GmbH & Co. KG, which deals with automobile engine transmission chains; stated that making a direct appeal to the head office in Japan is important wherever dealing with a multinational Japanese company, because final decisions are always made in Japan. For this reason, he emphasized the importance of establishing a business site in Japan. In a Q&A session held under the themes of global talent and business cost, participants engaged in lively discussions drawing comparisons between Germany and Japan.

Presentation by Managing Director Weitzel of EJOT GmbH & Co. KG

Publicity by eight local governments

In a networking reception, eight local governments from Japan; the six prefectures of Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Chiba, Kyoto and Mie and the two cities of Yokohama and Kobe; as well as the City of Munich and JETRO, individually set up consultation desks in order to respond to inquiries regarding entry to Japan from participants. They received numerous specific inquiries on FDI into Japan in a wide range of fields from machine tools and automobiles to software, engineering, stationery and warehousing. With participants coming from not only every corner of Germany but also neighboring countries such as Austria and Switzerland, a significant amount of interest in doing business in Japan could be heard.

Publicity by Ibaraki Prefecture

Outline of Seminar

Date and time Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 14:00 - 18:30
(Networking reception: 17:00-18:30)
Venue Holiday Inn München City Centre
Organizer JETRO
Co-organizers Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and technology; German-Japanese Business Circle; Consulate-General of Japan in Munich; Department of Labor and Economics, City of Munich
Visitors 103 people
  1. Greeting by organizer
    Masayoshi Watanabe, Director General, JETRO Dusseldorf
  2. Greetings by distinguished guests
    1. Tetsuya Kimura, Consul General, Japanese Consulate General in Munich
    2. Dr. Markus Wittmann, Head of the Department Internationalization and Industry, Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology
    3. Rita Roider, Head of Location Marketing and International Economic Relations, Department of Labor and Economics, City of Munich
  3. Keynote speeches
    1. "Business Opportunities for German Companies in Japan": Shigeki Maeda, Executive Vice President, JETRO Tokyo
      "Review of a Japanese Company in Bavaria": Shuhei Oyake, Vice President, Product Business Line, Fujitsu Technology Solutions GmbH
  4. Examples of best practices by German companies in Japan
    1. Dr. Tobias Huber, Area Sales Manager Japan, International Sales & Business Development;  Beckhoff Automation GmbH & Co. KG
    2. Stephan Weitzel, Managing Director, EJOT GmbH & Co. KG
    3. Frank Wiemer, Managing Director, iwis motorsysteme GmbH & Co. KG
  5. Q&A session
  6. Networking reception
    Chiba Prefecture, Fukushima Prefecture, Ibaraki Prefecture, Kyoto Prefecture, Mie Prefecture, Miyagi Prefecture, Kobe City and Yokohama City
    German-Japanese Business Circle