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October 2015 – BLJ facilitates discussions during JETRO Invest in Japan seminar

BLJ-Invest-in-Japan opportunity


Business Link Japan (BLJ) was pleased to attend and facilitate a discussion session during the “Invest in Japan, Seize the Opportunity” seminar hosted by JETRO on 27 October 2015 in London.

The seminar’s goal was to encourage British businesses to expand their operations to Japan and highlight the available resources and support.

During their opening remarks JETRO’s General Director of London office, Toshihiko Sakaguchi, and Plenipotentiary Minister, Motohiko Kato, both spoke of the increasing number of business opportunities in Japan especially around the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020. Minister Kato further highlighted the Japanese government’s plans to support foreign investment by reducing corporate tax rates within a 20 per-cent margin among other initiatives.

During the seminar, a number of guest speakers from British companies specialising in the retail, ICT and Energy & life Science sectors presented their experiences of setting up operations in Japan and gave advice on how to reap the many benefits of doing business in Japan.

Among the speakers was Ms. Aily Satoh, Product Marketing Manager for Sensus UK, who praised BLJ and JETRO’s support in helping enter the Japanese market. Ms. Satoh advised companies wishing to invest in Japan to bring a have a Japanese interpreter who’s not only capable of regular interpreting but also someone capable of reading between the lines, giving feedback from sales meetings, sensing intentions and translating information is a comprehensive way.

Mr Nick Lines, General Manager at Abcam K.K., highlighted Japan’s spending on research and development being the highest in Asia Pacific in relation to GDP. He also pointed out Japan’s aging population and its interest in products that improves health and quality of life.

Mr. Lines gave an insight into Japanese clientele preferring face to face sales processes and expect more from their experience of visiting a shop for example.

Speaking next was Mr. Paul Flemming, Campaign Director for East Asia at Amec Foster Wheeler (Amec FW). Mr. Flemming presented the strategic points they considered before expanding to Japan which ranged from finding a suitable location, gain understanding of recruitment practices, assessing and understanding the market and building relationships with a network of partners and clients.

Final speaker was Mr. Dermott Rowan, CEO of Orla Kiely, who explained Japan’s integral role in their brand’s development and survival.  He also gave a list of do’s and don’ts when doing business in Japan such as: always respect the name card, listen to trade advisers, explore the country, eat local and make sure you have no holes in your socks when you take your shoes off.

For more details on the event visit JETRO’s event page.

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