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Greater Nagoya Initiative for Inward Investment Promotion and Offshore Expansion Support | Kenji Toyoshima, Director International Affairs Division Economic Policy Department Chubu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry METI [Date of Issue: 31/July/2012 No.0209-0853]

Date of Issue: 31/July/2012

Greater Nagoya Initiative for Inward Investment Promotion
and Offshore Expansion Support

Kenji Toyoshima
International Affairs Division
Economic Policy Department
Chubu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry

The Greater Nagoya Initiative aims to unify the region under a single brand, pursuing a two-way strategy of inward investment promotion and offshore expansion support, as well as a shift to a multi-axis industrial structure and the development of the region as a global hub.

GREATER NAGOYA INITIATIVEThe Greater Nagoya Initiative (GNI) was initially designed to anticipate the transition to a state system beyond prefectural boundaries, unifying the region into a single brand to attract international attention to the Greater Nagoya Region’s outstanding manufacturing clusters and increase the region’s attractiveness as a business location.

The GNI could also provide Greater Nagoya with a major advantage in terms of addressing key challenges currently facing the region, namely the shift to a multi-axis industrial structure, and avoiding hollowing-out to become instead a global hub.

The Greater Nagoya Initiative(GNI)

Eight years ago, a year before the 2005 Aichi Expo, the Chubu region had a very low international profile compared to Tokyo and Osaka, and even gateways into the region such as Nagoya Airport lacked an international tone.

The government at the time was pursuing a plan to double foreign investment in Japan, but foreign investment in the Chubu region was extremely limited compared to the region’s economic scale. When we looked globally, a number of initiatives such as Greater Washington and Greater London that sought to establish a regional brand at the metropolitan level were beginning to attract inward investment and companies.

Taking the opening of the Chubu International Airport and the Aichi Expo as a golden opportunity, we investigated means of boosting Chubu’s international profile and stimulating international business exchange. We decided to designate the area within a 100-kilometer radius of the Nagoya Central Business District as the ‘Greater Nagoya Region’ and develop wide-ranging collaboration beyond city and prefectural bounds to promote inward investment and other international economic exchange based on a unified regional brand. We called this the ‘Greater Nagoya Initiative(GNI)’,.

Specifically, in February 2006, the Greater Nagoya Initiative Center (GNIC) was established to provide an organizational framework for promoting GNI activities. The highly diverse membership of the GNIC includes the Chubu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry, local government authorities, economic groups, companies, universities, research institutes and JETRO.

For the three prefectures of Aichi, Gifu and Mie to band together to create a single brand in the form of the Greater Nagoya Initiative and send missions offshore, as well as inviting businesses and individuals to the region, is highly significant as a front-running initiative that anticipates the concept of amalgamating Japanese prefectures into states.

Through the combined efforts of government, academia and industry in the Greater Nagoya Region, we have been working to communicate information offshore and attract outstanding technologies, information, business models and creative human resources to the region, as well as to promote business expansion offshore. Using this two-way approach, our aim has been to develop new business models and realize a world-leading creative social economy.

Greater Nagoya Initiative(GNI)activities

Two examples of the work of the GNIC in the six years since it was established are the invitation of around 500 foreign firms to the region for 42 events such as seminars, as well as the dispatch of 44 offshore missions taking around 230 companies to a total of 13 countries, including the US and Europe.

As a result of the GNIC’s work, 89 foreign companies have established operations in the Greater Nagoya Region, and there have been around 2,200 cases of business matching.
In particular, regular appearances at the Farnborough and Paris Air Shows, as well as ongoing exhibits at trade shows, seminars and business matching in both Europe and Japan with French aerospace government and industry representatives, have deepened bilateral ties and partnership at the national and regional levels.

On 30 May this year, we held the Symposium Greater Nagoya 2012, a France-Greater Nagoya economic investment seminar attended by around 150 people. The event was accompanied by an exchange meeting attended by the French Ambassador to Japan, as well as an industrial tour. The idea for the symposium grew out of an exchange of views back in June 2011 with the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan, which we visited before taking a Greater Nagoya mission to the Paris Air Show. The Chamber was interested in progress with recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake in Japan and the Greater Nagoya Region, which was a source of concern worldwide at the time.

Greater Nagoya Initiative(GNI) direction

One of the aims of the GNI is to pursue ongoing international economic exchange focused on this region and on specific targets. At the same time, the Greater Nagoya Region is also home to international-level manufacturing clusters, accounting for more than 40 percent of domestic transport machinery product shipments (particularly cars) and 50 percent of domestic aircraft parts production. Accordingly, another aim of the initiative is to advertise that superiority and draw the attention of government and industry in countries and regions throughout the world so that the GNI can serve as a pipe between the region and the world.

[Direction of GNI] Pursuing to become'a connecting pipe between the world economies and the Greater Nagoya, a MONOZUKURI site in the world' A further aim is to attract those companies and research institutes which the region lacks in order to shift our industrial structure from its current automobile-centered pyramid structure to a multi-axis structure with multiple ‘peaks’ that include aerospace, health care, and ‘green and clean’ industries—like the eight-peaked Mt. Yatsugatake .

Chubu Area Yatsugatake Structure Generating Strategy ( 182KB)

To that end, we will move away from efforts to attract companies with a focus on employment scale to activities strategically focused on attracting countries, regions, companies and research institutes that will contribute to that shift to a multi-axis structure.

In parallel with the above, we also aim to utilize global demand particularly from the rapidly-growing emerging countries in Asia and elsewhere to upgrade to social systems and the production of physical goods with services added to provide a total package—‘kotozukuri’, or the creation of abstract products—with a view to establishing the Greater Nagoya Region as an international hub for ‘mother factories’ and R&D.

Materials Research Laboratory for Green Vehicle

Materials Research Laboratory for Green Vehicle

That will in turn require advertising the region’s wealth of attractions, including not only automobile and aircraft manufacturing firms, but also the research institutes underpinning manufacturing, such as the National Composite Center ( 627KB) and the Green Mobility Collaborative Research Center, the human resource development and business support functions provided by universities and industrial support organizations, infrastructure such as the Chubu International Airport, and of course the region’s fascinating history and culture.

What the Greater Nagoya Initiative needs to do now is to boost the region’s ability to advertise these attractions in order to lock in MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) such as Japan Aerospace 2012 and the 29th International Symposium on Space Technology and Science so that exchanges of technology and people create a vibrant synergy in the Greater Nagoya Region.

We will address the above activities as of this fiscal year to further stimulate the GNIC program.

(original article : Japanese)

(For the Japanese version of this article)

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