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Regional Business Conference in Greater Nagoya region (Aichi, Gifu, Mie Prefectures and Nagoya City)

October 2019

From October 23 to 25, JETRO jointly held a Regional Business Conference (RBC) in Aichi, Gifu and Mie Prefectures together with the Greater Nagoya Initiative Center (GNIC)*, which is primarily composed of the governments of the prefectures mentioned as well as Nagoya City, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. RBCs consist of direct promotion by local heads of government and matching with local companies by inviting business people from overseas. Joined by 19 companies from the US, Israel, Switzerland, Spain, China and Germany—each possessing cutting-edge technologies related to AI and IoT capable of contributing to the advancement of local manufacturing industries and streamlining production—this proved a successful RBC across a broad region.

* The GNIC was established by leading figures from industry, academia and government with the aim of promoting internationalization in Greater Nagoya, the area within a 100 km radius of central Nagoya which includes Aichi, Gifu and Mie Prefectures. It devotes efforts to draw direct investment into the region and create business opportunities.

Direct promotion of advantages of Greater Nagoya by heads of each area

On the first day, October 23, a forum was held in Nagoya, which began with greetings by GNIC Chairman Fumio Kawaguchi on behalf of the organizers. Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura introduced the allures of Greater Nagoya, where leveraging the “four Ps”―products, professionalism, proximity and potential—has led to an accumulation of excellent manufacturers and human resources. Presentations were also made by JETRO Executive Vice President Kazuya Nakajo and Japanese and overseas companies representing the region. Mr. Nakajo spoke on successful cases of innovation created through collaboration between local and overseas companies as well as the strengths of the Japanese market, while participant companies promoted the advantages of Greater Nagoya and their business. The 19 invitees then delivered pitch presentations at two venues in order to widely promote the opportunities for business with overseas companies, including to firms that did not participate in the individual matching. In his remarks at a networking reception following the forum, Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura emphasized how the region is home to one of the world’s most substantial industrial concentrations. Individual exchange was then conducted between local and overseas companies as well as between local companies.

On the second day, October 24, the invitees made a courtesy visit to Gifu Vice Governor Takanori Kawai. In an enthusiastic appeal to the companies, the vice governor said, "We want you to learn about the allures of Gifu and to come and do business with us." On October 25, they also visited Mie Governor Eikei Suzuki, who introduced cases of overseas companies entering his prefecture, a subsidy system aimed at foreign companies and instances in which he personally went abroad to advertise Mie.

Direct promotion by leaders of Aichi, Nagoya, Gifu and Mie sent a strong message to each participant company on the advantages of each area, as well as Greater Nagoya as a whole.

Direct promotion by Aichi Governor Omura

Forum visitors

Courtesy visit to Gifu Vice Governor Kawai

Courtesy visit to Mie Governor Suzuki

Encouraging investment in Greater Nagoya through business matching with local companies

Individual business matching with local companies was conducted in Aichi on October 23 and in Mie on October 25, resulting in a total of 86 business talks. Among the overseas companies came the following praise: "This gave us a chance to talk with local companies we couldn’t have met through our own network," and "We’ve decided to come again to continue business talks." Local companies also offered praise, such as, "We were able to engage in technical discussions with companies that deeply understand the conditions of Japanese manufacturers." As a number of business talks left both invitees and local companies with a sense of bright prospects, expectations are high for dialogues to continue in the future.

Business matching meeting (October 23)

Business matching meetings (October 25)

Facilitating exchange with local companies and academics under the theme of improved productivity

In the morning on October 24, invitees visited one of Japan's largest machine tool exhibitions, Mechatronics Technology Japan (MECT) 2019. They toured booths of companies from Gifu, including DMG Mori and Yamazaki Mazak, and expanded their networks by speaking with company representatives. In the afternoon, following presentations at Gifu University by three local companies on issues they are facing, the local companies, invitees and professors of Gifu University broke into groups to discuss solutions. It proved an invaluable networking opportunity, with discussions in some groups expanding into advanced technical areas.

On the last day, October 25, invitees toured the mother factory of car-parts maker Avex in Mie, then engaged in an exchange of views with company staff. Participants had positive comments after the visit, including, "We didn’t imagine that factory automation had become this advanced. It was good to know the current situation in Japan."

By inviting 19 companies from six countries and having direct promotion by local leaders and business matching across three prefectures, this RBC set a new precedent for a region-wide event aimed at promoting investment by overseas companies.

Workshop at Gifu University

Tour of Avex

Outline of RBC Program in the GN region

Date Wednesday, October 23 to Friday, 25, 2019
Venue Aichi, Gifu and Mie Prefectures
Organizers JETRO, GNIC, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
Invitees Total of 19 companies (one from the US, two from Israel, five from Switzerland, two from Spain, four from China and five from Germany)
Program October 23: Business matching, forum, direct promotion by local leaders (Aichi and Nagoya), pitch session and networking reception
October 24: Tour of MECT 2019, courtesy call on Gifu Vice Governor and tour of the Gifu University Center for Advanced and Smart Die Engineering Technology
October 25: Tour of Avex in Mie, courtesy call on Mie Governor and business matching

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