A delegation from the Japanese government trade organization passed Wednesday with representatives of the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation (BVEDC).
College Station Mayor Karl Mooney welcomed members of the Japan Economic Trade Organization (JETRO), chaired by JETRO New York President and JETRO USA leader Ken-ichi Kawamoto and CEO of JETRO Houston, Masahiro Sakarauchi.
BVEDC President Matt Prochaska said it was the second country they have hosted during the pandemic for an in-person visit.
A third international group will be visiting before the end of the year.
Click below for comments from Matt Prochaska, Karl Mooney and Ken-ichi Kawamoto:
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Additional information from a BVEDC press release:
Senior trade officials representing Japan traveled to the Brazos Valley to further develop relationships and explore opportunities for economic and industrial development.
On October 20, the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation hosted leaders of the Japan Foreign Trade Organization. JETRO promotes mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world and is managed by the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
The purpose of the JETRO visit was to increase the organization’s awareness of the Brazos Valley business benefits and opportunities available to Japanese companies considering Texas, as well as those currently operating in our community, such as FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies and Toyo Ink America. The two companies have asked representatives to meet JETRO on their trip.
The BVEDC had the opportunity to learn more about Japan’s scope and trade objectives in the United States and Texas.
JETRO representatives were JETRO New York President and JETRO USA Chief Ken-ichi Kawamoto, JETRO Houston General Manager Masahiro Sakurauchi and members of the JETRO Houston team.
“Today we learned about the attractiveness of doing business in the Brazos Valley and the many opportunities here to collaborate with academia and business,” Sakurauchi said. “JETRO is happy to promote collaboration between Brazos Valley companies and Japanese companies. “
A welcome reception started the JETRO visit and included the Mayor of College Station, Karl Mooney, and the Managing Director of Invest Brazos Valley, Amos McDonald, of PNC Bank. After a presentation and discussion with the BVEDC team, JETRO officials met with leaders from the Texas A&M University System and Texas A&M University, including the Acting Vice Chancellor for Research, Dr Joe Elabd and the Head of from the AgriLife program, Heather Hirsch.
“The BVEDC team has been discussing opportunities with JETRO for much of 2021, and we were honored to welcome representatives from the organization in person to continue these discussions,” said Matt Prochaska, President and CEO of BVEDC. “Showcasing the people and assets of the Brazos Valley, many of which align with the priorities of Japan’s business interests, increases these opportunities for Japanese companies to do business here and for our companies to do business there. . “
Recently, JETRO launched a business platform called J-Bridge to forge alliances and collaborations between Japanese companies and start-ups and companies from other countries. Its priority areas include carbon neutrality, mobility, retail, health, agriculture and fisheries, and smart cities.
According to data presented by JETRO, in 2019, Japan is the world’s largest foreign direct investor in the United States with total investments of $ 645 billion. Japanese company employment in Texas doubled over a ten-year period ending in 2018.
The visit is part of the latest efforts by BVEDC and its community partners to strengthen and expand ties with businesses, governments and international organizations. In December, the region will host its annual international technology mission in collaboration with Texas A&M System Technology Commercialization and the Open Worldwide Innovation Network.