On February 24, 2016, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) held the 11th Ota-JBIC Monozukuri Support Seminar together with the Ota Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Ota-JBIC Monozukuri Support Council, with the support of the Ota Industrial Cooperative Union of Machinery and Metalworking and The Gunma Bank, Ltd. (Gunma Bank), in a meeting room on the third floor of the Ota Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
The seminar commenced with an opening remark from Mr. Kan Shoda, Chairman of the Ota Chamber of Commerce & Industry, followed by a presentation by Shinji Ayuha, JBIC's Advisor for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) on the 27th results of the FY2015 Survey Report on Overseas Business Operations by Japanese Manufacturing Companies, and on JBIC's financial support for Japanese mid-tier enterprises and SMEs. There were also lectures from Mr. Hisashi Shibata, an Attorny from Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, on the "Impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Japanese Automobile Industry - Utilization and Future Outlook of TPP," and from Ms. Yachiyo Tanaka, Director of FOURIN, Inc., on "New Trends in the Global Automobile Market and Technology." Lastly, Mr. Keita Muto, General Manager of Financial Markets & International Department of the Gunma Bank gave a remark, closing the seminar.
In the presentation of the results of the FY2015 Survey Report on Overseas Business Operations by Japanese Manufacturing Companies, and JBIC's financial support for Japanese mid-tier enterprises and SMEs, JBIC's Ayuha explained "business challenges to be faced," in addition to the regularly covered topics on the prospects for the overseas business expansion of Japanese manufacturing companies, such as "medium-term overseas business prospects" and "promising countries or regions for overseas business operations." He also gave an outline of JBIC's recent financing system for mid-tier enterprises and SMEs and reported the present activities.
For the "Impact of TPP on Japanese Automobile Industry - Utilization and Future Outlook of TPP," Mr. Shibata gave a lucid presentation on the overview of the TPP and its agreement for the automotive industry, based on his experience in negotiations directly concerning the TPP at the Americas Division of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. He also explained each member country's reduced tariff rate for automobiles and automotive parts and factors behind the rate; the rules of origin in which the complete accumulation system is introduced among member countries; and impact on the supply chain.
For the "New Trends in Global Automobile Market and Technology," Ms. Tanaka presented three key topics - outlook of the global automobile market, future direction of the technological innovation such as in driving and environmental technology, and the impact of the Volkswagen scandal on the Japanese automobile industry - on the basis of results achieved from surveys that the company had conducted over the previous year. Ms. Tanaka particularly emphasized that "the technological innovations based on the connected car technology led mainly by the U.S. automobile companies is developing faster than we had expected and the world demands even higher standards for environmental technology. These trends continue to put us Japanese car manufacturers in a highly competitive environment, giving us no peace of mind."
In the closing remark, Mr. Muto of Gunma Bank explained that the bank was one of few regional banks which did not withdraw their overseas operations even during the Asian Financial Crisis. He reported that the bank currently has over 800 customers who conduct overseas businesses, mainly in China and the ASEAN countries, and that the bank's overseas operations are steadily expanding such as by implementing partnerships with Asian banks, and also that its partnership with JBIC has been strengthening recently.
The seminar ended in success, attracting nearly 50 attendees who actively asked questions after the lectures. JBIC will continue to provide a broad range of information to help Japanese companies expand their overseas business operations.