The North West remains an important business environment and an indispensable gateway to Europe for Japan, according to Minister Akamatsu, Economic Minister at the Japanese Embassy.
Speaking at Deloitte’s North West Japanese Business Dinner, Minister Akamatsu added that “Japan and the UK will work together closely to secure a prosperous future for our countries”.
Manchester has a long history of welcoming Japanese businesses and collaborative partnerships, and is home to over 60 Japanese companies, including Brother, Kratos Analytical, Hitachi, JTI and Fujitsu.
North West an important business environment for Japan – Japanese Economic Minister
As flagship UK cities for international trade, Manchester and Liverpool were jointly ranked the 10th most popular location globally for foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2017, according to a report by IBM, with Manchester seeing the largest number of investments into the UK outside the capital.
As part of Manchester’s combined efforts to foster strong links with Japan, Deloitte’s eighth annual North West Japanese Business Dinner was held at the AJ Bell Stadium, and was attended by over 60 delegates, including senior executives from Japanese and British businesses, and the Economic Minister and First Secretary of the Japanese Embassy. Business leaders from Brother UK, Daikin UK, the Department for International Trade, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Japan Airlines, NSG and Mitsui were also in attendance.
Phil Jones, Managing Director of Brother UK, gave a keynote speech at the event, as the firm marks 50 years of being in the city, and continues to build close connections between Japan and the North West.
The evening was hosted by Jo Ahmed, partner of Global Employer Services at Deloitte in the North West, in her role as Honorary Consul of Japan in Manchester. Jo was appointed to the role in January by the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and continues to provide support for Japanese businesses, oversee cultural events and foster cordial relations with the city.
Jo Ahmed said: “The North West has a long-standing history of working closely with Japan, and it’s fantastic to see the connection grow stronger. The Japanese Embassy has remained especially supportive of the local business community and continues to look to the region for new trade and investment openings. We are seeing some exciting new lines of interest emerging in both the energy and financial services sectors.
“With strengths in innovation and industry expertise, including in manufacturing, research, and creative and digital technology, Manchester remains a world-class city for international trade and investment.
“The Rugby World Cup 2019 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics are right around the corner, and there are lots of exciting opportunities on the horizon for the North West and Japan to come together to celebrate our growing connectivity.”
Minister Akamatsu, Economic Minister from the Embassy of Japan, said: “The North West is an important business environment for Japan. As a gateway to Europe, it is needless to say it’s indispensable. With Brexit negotiations underway, the Japanese government requests transparency and stability in setting up an implementation period, to give assurance for the next couple of years.
“There is lots of work to be done, but in the face of these circumstances, Japan is standing on the side of the UK people. Japan wishes to continue to be as interactive as ever with the North West. The strengths of the North West, including its workforce, its high-levels of connectivity, universities and industry expertise, are impressive. I am confident that Japan and the UK will work together closely to secure a prosperous future for our countries and continue to foster hope.”