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  5. METI and MAFF to Fortify their Collaboration for Promoting Export of Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Products and Foods

METI and MAFF to Fortify their Collaboration for Promoting Export of Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Products and Foods

Collaboration between Kanto Regional Agricultural Administration Office, Hokuriku Regional Agricultural Administration Office and Kanto Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry to support SMEs and other businesses engaging in agriculture, forestry and fisheries in exporting their products

February 22, 2019

The Government of Japan set a goal to reach an export value of 1 trillion yen in the field of agricultural, forestry and fishery products and foods in 2019. As part of efforts to this end, regional bureaus of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), namely the Kanto Regional Agricultural Administration Office and the Hokuriku Regional Agricultural Administration Office of MAFF and the Kanto Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry of METI (hereinafter referred to as the “three offices”), agreed on a memorandum. Based on the memorandum, the three offices will fortify their collaboration to enhance support measures for SMEs and other businesses engaging in agriculture, forestry and fisheries in order to encourage such businesses to develop overseas markets and establish consistent trade.

1. The memorandum on promoting exports of agricultural, forestry and fishery products and foods

The three offices agreed on the memorandum to fortify their collaboration to enhance support measures for SMEs and other businesses engaging in agriculture, forestry and fisheries in order to encourage such businesses to develop overseas markets and establish consistent trade.

2. Specific efforts based on the memorandum

The three offices will provide mentor-based support measures targeting businesses based on their business growth stages and particular challenges. Through these measures, these offices will combine respective support measures for overseas business development over which METI and MAFF have jurisdiction and support measures with the help of private businesses that have existing overseas networks for exports.

(1) Supporting target businesses in overseas business development through collaboration of the three offices

In this measure, personnel dispatched by the three offices will jointly visit target businesses and discuss challenges that such businesses are facing. Following this, the three offices will provide mentor-based support measures by flexibly combining MAFF, METI or other organizations’ applicable measures for supporting businesses in developing business overseas.

(2) Supporting target businesses with the help of private businesses that are engaged in export

[i] Taking advantage of trading companies to support target businesses (“supporter trading companies”*)

The three offices will collaborate with trading companies that are able to provide mentor-based support ranging from designing new products that can meet demand in destination countries and regions of exports, to cultivating new sales channels, and will support target businesses in developing new businesses overseas through holding seminars to raise awareness or acquire export or overseas development knowledge and hold business matching events.

*Note: Supporter trading companies are trading companies that are: experts in overseas markets, such as those with bases in destination countries and regions of intended exports; engaging in measures for supporting businesses in cultivating new sales channels, such as test marketing based on local demand; and/or able to provide advice and other support to businesses and SMEs in a comprehensive manner.

[ii] Taking advantage of private export and overseas business development experts (supporting target businesses in management)

Some businesses need advice from experts in making decisions involving operations, such as terms and conditions of contracts with overseas companies or determining whether particular companies are appropriate partners. To support target businesses in such situations, the three offices will hold business matching events between private export and overseas business development experts and target businesses.

[iii] Taking advantage of private businesses involved in operations that can support businesses in exporting products (distribution, customs clearance, etc.)

The three offices will support target businesses in exporting their products in cooperation with private businesses as above.

(3) Enhancing cultivation of regional attractiveness and providing information on such attractiveness to the public

The three offices will ascertain regional, unique food culture, trends in production and distribution of agricultural, forestry and fishery products and foods and other information, and based on this, they will endeavor to support regional businesses in uncovering regional attractiveness, for example by forming inter-business networks and conveying information on regional food culture.

(4) Enhancing these support systems

Aiming to enhance these support systems for facilitating exports by target businesses, the three offices will jointly strive to discover supporter trading companies that will help target businesses to cultivate overseas sales channels, private experts in overseas business development and export business and private businesses that are able to support target businesses in exporting products.

Divisions in Charge