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  5. METI State Minister Makihara Attends Regional Business Conference in Yokohama

METI State Minister Makihara Attends Regional Business Conference in Yokohama

October 18, 2019

On October 9 (Wed.), 2019, a Regional Business Conference (RBC) in Yokohama, an event for attracting direct investments by overseas companies to regional areas of Japan, was held in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture. As a representative of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Mr. MAKIHARA Hideki, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, attended the conference, [i] explained the current situation in the field of life science in Japan, [ii] called attention to the attractiveness of life-science R&D bases and other facilities in Yokohama City, and [iii] introduced the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) as a contact counter for supporting investments. State Minister Makihara encouraged participating representatives of overseas countries to develop businesses in Japan.

1. Outline of the RBC in Yokohama

On October 9 (Wed.), 2019, an RBC in Yokohama, an event for attracting direct investments by overseas companies to regional areas of Japan, was held in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, which was organized by METI, Yokohama City and JETRO. As a representative of METI, State Minister Makihara attended the conference, together with Ms. Hayashi Fumiko, Mayor of Yokohama City, and other officials.

2. Purpose and outline of the RBC projects

Japan is expected to attract increased international attention due to hosting many large international events, including the G20 summit meeting, the Rugby World Cup Japan 2019, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Taking these as opportunities, METI has been advancing efforts for conveying information on attractive business environments in regional areas of Japan to the rest of the world so as to encourage other countries to invest in such areas. As one of these efforts, METI, in collaboration with municipalities, has been holding a series of RBC projects across Japan (see Item 3 below).

As part of this effort, METI and Yokohama City jointly held a RBC in Yokohama, inviting executives of nine overseas companies (*1). At the conference, Mayor Hayashi explained Yokohama’s attractiveness to participating companies as a sales representative, while the organizers held business matching events between local companies in Yokohama City and other domestic companies as well as domestic research institutes and overseas companies.
*Note 1: The nine overseas companies consist of eight from the United States and one from Germany.

On October 8, these invited overseas companies participated in business matching events with Japanese companies, which are members of associations consisting of: drug research and development facilities, in which neighbor companies and universities participate; life science-related companies; and other organizations, and the two sides advanced business meetings, respectively.

On October 9, following Mayor Hayashi’s explanations as a sales representative, State Minister Makihara delivered a speech as one of the representatives of the organizers. He [i] explained the current situation of the field of life science in Japan and the scale of business opportunities therein, [ii] called attention to the attractiveness of life-science R&D bases and other facilities in Yokohama City, and [iii] introduced JETRO as a contact counter for supporting investments.  In so doing, he encouraged participating overseas companies to develop businesses in Japan. Following this, the overseas companies received a briefing on investment environments in Yokohama City and visited research institutes of universities in the city. Moreover, they made pitch presentations before research institutes and other organizations concerning the specifics of their businesses, future business visions and other ideas. Then they participated in business matching events and the two sides advanced business meetings, respectively.

On October 10, the invited overseas companies participated in Bio Japan 2019, the largest partnering event in Asia in the field of bio businesses, which was held at the same timing as the RBC in Yokohama, and they made pitch presentations and other briefings before participating companies and other organizations concerning the specifics of their businesses, future business visions and other ideas.

This conference provided a good opportunity for Japan to contribute to facilitation of future direct investments in Japan by overseas companies as seen in the convening of 83 business meetings and face-to-face meetings for three days among participants on potential specific collaboration among them.

2. Host municipalities of the FY2019 RBC projects

In addition to Yokohama City, the following five prefectures have hosted or will host events under the RBC projects in FY2019.

Subject Schedule
Hokkaido Prefecture: Industries related to tourism and attracting overseas tourists to Japan June 3 to 7, 2019 (finished)
January 14 to 17, 2020
Kyoto City: Pharmaceutical and medical equipment industries July 1 to 3, 2019 (finished)
Yokohama City: Pharmaceutical and medical equipment industries October 8 to 10, 2019 (finished)
GNI (*2): Manufacturing industry October 23 to 26, 2019
Sendai City: IT-related industries November 11 to 15, 2019

Links to related information

*Note 2: The term “GNI” is an acronym for the Greater Nagoya Initiative Center. In 2006, under the leadership of Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, Gifu Prefecture, Mie Prefecture, Nagoya City and other supporting cities inaugurated the GNI, aiming to promote internationalization of the GNI region within a 100km radius of the Nagoya central business district, consisting of the top-level industries, academia and governmental organizations from these areas as members. This body has been advancing efforts for attracting direct investments in the GNI region and creating new business opportunities.

Division in Charge

Investment Facilitation Division, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau

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