JETRO Munich opening ceremony and “Innovation through German-Japanese Cooperation” seminar

July 2022

On July 13, JETRO held the opening ceremony of JETRO Munich, located in Southern Germany. While the office had already opened in March 2020, the ceremony was postponed due the COVID pandemic. A total of about 140 people were in attendance at the venue, including German key figures and business people such as Bavarian State Minister Hubert Aiwanger of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy and Mayor Dieter Reiter of Munich as well as Japanese key figures and representatives from Japanese companies active in Germany such as Japanese Ambassador to Germany Yanagi Hideo and Japanese Consul General Munich Maekawa Nobutaka. Including online viewers, more than 500 people took part.

In his opening remarks, JETRO Chairman Sasaki Nobuhiko stated that cooperation between Japan and Germany has great potential given the current need to achieve carbon neutrality and promote digitalization. In addition, emphasizing the allures of Southern Germany, such as its strong economy, high innovation capacity based on a well-developed eco-system and the concentration of Japanese companies, he stressed that the establishment of JETRO Munich is of great significance, calling for its active utilization.

In response, Bavarian State Minister Hubert Aiwanger expressed high hopes for the office, saying, “Japan is an important trading partner for Bavaria, and JETRO Munich will be a cornerstone for deepening ties between the two countries in the midst of unstable global conditions.” Following that, congratulatory video messages were delivered by Parliamentary Vice-Minister Iwata Kazuchika of Economy, Trade and Industry, as well as Munich Mayor Reiter and Japanese Ambassador Yanagi.

JETRO and Invest in Bavaria also took the opportunity of the opening ceremony to sign a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) with the aim of expanding investment in business between Japan and Bavaria, in particular to support startups in the innovation field, affirming that both parties will work together to contribute to the business expansion of companies from both countries.

Opening remarks by Chairman Sasaki

Remarks by Bavarian State Minister Aiwanger

Signing MOC with Invest in Bavaria

After the ceremony, a seminar was held on the field of carbon neutrality under the title “German-Japanese Cooperation and Innovations Related to Carbon Neutrality,” where animated discussions were seen among Japanese and German business people. In his opening remarks at the seminar, Dr. Roland Busch, Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Committee (APA) of German Business, stated Japan and Germany share common issues such as geopolitical changes, digitalization such as seen in the metaverse, climate change and an aging society, and that the two countries can cooperate in development of hydrogen technology, digitalization and automation.

Following that, DMG MORI Global Marketing, BMW Group Japan, Toray Automotive Center Europe, TWAICE Technologies and Fujitsu Technology Solutions each took the podium to introduce their activities. At the panel session of the latter half of the seminar moderated by Dr. Christian Geltinger, Chief Representative of the State of Bavaria Office in Japan, discussions were made between panelists from the aforementioned five companies, Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) and JETRO on challenges in each company's efforts to achieve carbon neutrality and issues in collaboration between Japan and Germany. During the discussions, they presented on endeavors to leverage AI and data, the necessity of policies to facilitate corporate activities and differences in communication methods between Japanese and German companies, and many questions were received from the audience.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening

Panel discussion

Outlines of opening ceremony and seminar

Date and time Wed. July 13, 2022, 9:00 - 12:00 (local time), 16:00 - 19:00 (Japan time) 
Venue Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski
Organizer JETRO
Co-organizers Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy; Invest in Bavaria; Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI); Munich City; Embassy of Japan in Germany; Japanese Consulate General Munich
Sponsors Bavarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BIHK), German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (AHK Japan), Bavarian Industry Association (vbw), VDMA, VDMA Bavaria, Japanese-German Business Association (DJW), Japanese-German Center Berlin (jdzb), Japan Club Munchen
Participants 566 people (144 at the venue, 422 over the Internet)
  1. (Opening ceremony)
    Opening remarks
    • Sasaki Nobuhiko, Chairman and CEO, JETRO
  2. Guest remarks
    • Hubert Aiwanger; Bavarian State Minister; Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy
    • Iwata Kazuchika; Parliamentary Vice-Minister; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (video)
    • Dieter Reiter, Mayor, City of Munich
    • Yanagi Hideo, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Germany
  3. MOC signing session
    • Takatsuka Hajime, Director General, JETRO Munich
    • Gudrun Weidmann, Executive Director, Invest in Bavaria
  4. Ribbon-cutting ceremony
  5. (“German-Japanese Cooperation and Innovations Related to Carbon Neutrality” seminar)
    Keynote speech
    • Title: “Partnerships between German and Japanese companies to create innovation”
      Dr. Roland Busch, Chairman, Asia-Pacific Committee (APA) of German Business; President and CEO, Siemens AG
  6. Corporate presentations
    • Irene Bader, Director Global Marketing and Executive Officer, DMG MORI Global Marketing GmbH
    • Stefan Lutz, Senior Manager, Development Japan, Technology Office of BMW Group Japan
    • Terada Miki, Head of Toray Automotive Center Europe, Toray Industries Europe GmbH
    • Lucas Reinfeld, Sales & Business Development Manager, TWAICE Technologies GmbH
    • Maki Yujiro, Corporate Executive Officer SVP, Global Product Liaison Office of Fujitsu Technology Solutions GmbH
  7. Panel session
    • Dr. Christian Geltinger, Chief Representative of the State of Bavaria Office in Japan
    • Representatives from five Japanese and German companies presenting at the corporate presentation session
    • Achim Hartig, Managing Director of Investor Consulting, GATI
    • Takatsuka Hajime, Director General, JETRO Munich
  8. Introduction of JETRO’s business platform “J-Bridge” and “German-Japanese Innovation Initiative 160”
    • Takatsuka Hajime, Director General, JETRO Munich