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Regional Business Conference in Yokohama

October 2019

From October 8 to 10, JETRO jointly held the Regional Business Conference (RBC) in Yokohama with the city government and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, an event consisting of direct promotion by the mayor and matching with local companies by inviting business people from overseas. With the attendance of nine companies in fields related to life science from the United States and Germany, the advantages of the city, which is home to a concentration of global companies, and the benefits of doing business in the prefecture were explained.

Direct promotion of allures of Yokohama by mayor

On the first day of the seminar, Mayor Fumiko Hayashi directly promoted to the overseas companies the strengths of Yokohama, which has been growing as an innovation city with an accumulation of R&D facilities of global companies and manufacturers. State Minister Hideki Makihara of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry also delivered a speech to promote the allures of Yokohama as well as Japan in the life science field.

Following him, Director General Takumi Hayashi of the Economic Affairs Bureau of Yokohama publicized the investment environment. JETRO Executive Vice President Kazuya Nakajo also stressed the advantages of the city as an investment destination as well as JETRO's support program jointly conducted with the city for FDI into Japan.

Promotion by Mayor Hayashi

Facilitating opportunities for business in Yokohama in line with "BioJapan"

In line with "BioJapan 2019"―an international bio-business exhibition held in Yokohama during the same period—JETRO convened a special event called "Yokohama Day" on October 10, where business matching talks and pitch presentations were made in the same venue. The invited overseas companies were able to have meetings with Japanese companies under the cooperation of the Life Innovation Platform Yokohama (LIP.Yokohama) and the Life Science Innovation Network Japan (Link-J), which has an official partnership with Yokohama City. Invitees praised the event, saying, "We had business talks with future potential," and "It gave me a new business idea!" At the pitch presentation, they promoted their products and services in front of numerous visitors.

Business matching talks

Pitch event "Yokohama Day"

Interaction with local companies and academic institutions toward new collaboration

On the first day of the seminar of October 8, participants visited the Shonan Health Innovation Park (iPark) and Link-J. Following the tour of the facility of iPark, they had business matching talks with companies which have office space there. After the meeting, companies shared positive comments like the following: "We were able to talk with potential partners," and "The tour became a catalyst for considering utilizing this facility in the future." Their next destination was "Global Life Science 2019," organized by Link-J. At the event, the city government introduced the invitees, who later engaged in proactive exchange with Japanese companies at a networking reception.

In the afternoon of October 9, the participants visited the Advanced Medical Research Center of Yokohama City University (YCU) to see the facility, make pitch presentations and meet with professors. They expressed satisfaction, saying it was meaningful being able to talk with the faculty who is hard to come across in the usual course of business.

After the RBC, invitees gave the following praise: "We were enticed by the allures of Yokohama," and "We would like to consider investing in the city in the future." The event was a successful opportunity to widely publicize the business environment of the city of Yokohama.

Business talks at iPark

Tour of YCU

Outline of RBC Program in Yokohama

Date and time Tuesday, October 8 to Thursday, 10, 2019
Venue Yokohama, Kanagawa
Organizers JETRO, City of Yokohama, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
Invitees Nine companies (eight from US and one from Germany)
Program October 8: Tour of iPark, and participation in Link-J event
October 9: Meeting with Yokohama Mayor
Tour of the Advanced Medical Research Center of Yokohama City University
October 10: Participation in business matching and the RBC pitch event "Yokohama Day"

* This event was implemented as a consignment project by METI.