Oct 20, 2021

Brazos Valley Hosts Japanese Trade Reps

Steve Fullhart
Brazos Valley Hosts Japanese Trade Reps

Top trade officials representing Japan visited the Brazos Valley to further develop relations and explore economic and industrial development opportunities.

On October 20, the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation hosted leaders from the Japan External 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 & Industry.

The aim of JETRO’s visit was to increase the organization’s awareness of the Brazos Valley’s business advantages and opportunities available to Japanese companies considering Texas, as well as those with operations currently in our community such as FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies and Toyo Ink America. Both companies had representatives meet with JETRO during their trip.

The BVEDC had the opportunity to learn more about Japan’s business reach and goals in the United States and Texas.

Representing JETRO was President of JETRO New York and Leader of JETRO United States Ken-ichi Kawamoto, JETRO Houston Chief Executive Director Masahiro Sakurauchi, and members of the JETRO Houston team. 

“Today, we learned the attractiveness to doing business in the Brazos Valley and the many opportunities here in collaborating with the academic side and businesses,” Sakurauchi said. “JETRO is happy to promote the collaboration between Brazos Valley businesses and Japanese businesses.”

A welcome reception began JETRO’s visit and included College Station Mayor Karl Mooney and Invest Brazos Valley Managing Director Amos McDonald with PNC Bank. Following a presentation from and discussion with the BVEDC team, JETRO officials met with leaders from The Texas A&M University System and Texas A&M University, including Interim Vice Chancellor for Research Dr. Joe Elabd and AgriLife Program Manager Heather Hirsch.

“The BVEDC team has been discussing opportunities with JETRO for much of 2021, and we were honored to welcome organization’s representatives in-person to continue those talks,” said BVEDC President/CEO Matt Prochaska. “Showcasing the people and assets of the Brazos Valley, many of which align with the priorities of Japan’s business interests, increases those 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 in order to forge alliances and collaborations between companies in Japan and start-ups and businesses in other countries. Its priority fields include carbon neutral, mobility, retail, healthcare, agriculture and fisheries, and smart cities.

According to data presented by JETRO, as of 2019, Japan is the world’s top foreign direct investor in the United States with total investments of $645 billion. Employment by Japanese companies in Texas has doubled over a ten-year timespan ending in 2018.

The visit is among the latest efforts by the BVEDC and its community partners to strengthen and broaden connections with international companies, governments and organizations. In December, the region will host its annual international technology mission in conjunction with Texas A&M System Technology Commercialization and the Open Worldwide Innovation Network.