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*JASGC Members in the NEWS*
***Updated November 11, 2013***
Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae at the Gala
find the Cincinnati Business Courier article at:
Welcome mat out for Japanese firms
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Adam Singer is the director of the biohealth cluster for the Cincinnati USA Partnership. Contact him at email@example.com.
Adam Singer, Courier Contributor
I recently traveled on behalf of the Cincinnati USA Partnership with JobsOhio to Tokyo. I attended the 2013 Midwest U.S. – Japan Association Conference, where business leaders from both Japan and the Midwest region of the United States met to discuss the growth and progress of economic relations between those two areas of the world.
Japanese investment in the Greater Cincinnati region cannot be underestimated as there are currently 420 Japanese facilities that call Ohio home. In fact, Ohio is second only to the state of California when it comes to the number of facilities located in our region.
Companies participating in the conference represented a wide array of industries, but we did find that there was notable interest in the topic of energy and the trending innovations in that sector. Our goal for this trip was to build on these facts and to support our region’s relationship with current and prospective investors.
While there are many factors that contribute to economic growth, the importance of fostering and maintaining relationships is often taken for granted when it comes to efforts surrounding international business expansion. Adhering to this principle, we met with thriving businesses in Japan, such as Toyota Motor Corp., machine tool maker Makino and consumer products company KAO Brands, to recognize and show our sincere appreciation for their decisions to continue investing in Greater Cincinnati.
Tending to these relationships is not limited to just our work abroad. When crossing cultural lines, it is absolutely critical that these Eastern business owners feel comfortable on Western soil.
Many of the Japanese business owners with whom we met expressed overwhelming gratitude for the Japan America Society of Greater Cincinnati in particular, citing that it played a large role in creating very positive memories for them and helping them transition smoothly to our area.
Not every city offers this type of support, and it’s hopefully this kind of encouragement and emphasis on relationship building that will continue to garner sustained and continued investment in the future.
In addition to meeting with Japanese companies already established in the Tri-State, we met with a few prospects that are very interested in making Cincinnati their future home. While I can’t mention names yet, two in particular could be just on the horizon.
This trip was a great building block to help develop and ultimately close projects that will deliver more jobs to our region. We look forward to building upon these vital relationships when the Japanese ambassador to the U.S., Kenichiro Sasae, visits Cincinnati on Nov. 1 for the 25th Anniversary Gala for the Japan America Society of Greater Cincinnati.
Sasae’s visit will allow Cincinnati’s business community to return the warm welcome his corporate citizenry showed us, and provide him a firsthand introduction to why investing in our region should continue to be a priority for his country’s leading businesses.