Deputy Director, the Strategic Research Department, JBIC
Mr. Yasuhiro Goto
Faculty of Urban Innovation at Asia University
At the seminar, Photograph of the lectures
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) hosted its "Overseas Investment Seminar: Overseas Business Operations by Japanese Manufacturing Companies" on December 6, 2018, in Osaka and December 7, 2018, in Nagoya. The results of this year's FY2018 JBIC Survey Report on Overseas Business Operations by Japanese Manufacturing Companies ("FY2018 JBIC Survey Report," first conducted in 1989) were presented in Osaka by Takeshi Kasuga, Director of Division 1, the Strategic Research Department, and in Nagoya by Kasumi Yamazaki, as well as Azusa Ikenaga, Deputy Director of the Division 1. Also, Mr. Yasuhiro Goto of the Faculty of Urban Innovation at Asia University gave a lecture on "Changes Caused by U.S.-China Frictions and Digitalization." The seminar was a great success, attracting approximately 50 participants each in Osaka and in Nagoya.
The member of the Strategic Research Department started the seminar by explaining the results of the FY2018 JBIC Survey Report. The report indicated that the overseas business performance of Japanese manufacturing companies for FY2017 was mostly robust. Also, it pointed out that companies seem more selective regarding the regions and countries in which they plan to strengthen their businesses, as they also want to assign more resources to domestic businesses. Meanwhile, the "Rankings of Promising Countries/Regions for over the Medium-term" shows bipolarization in the top countries. This year's independent survey topic was the "Impact of Protectionism," and the members explained that more than 30% of the respondents are expecting a related decrease in profits, and that it will be increasingly important to closely monitor the effects such policies will have on long-term investment activities. Lastly, moving on to another independent topic of "Views on Environmental Regulations and Development of Environment-related Business," they reported that companies firmly hold the view that global tightening of environmental regulations can create an opportunity for expansion of their businesses.
Next, Mr. Goto explained on both the United States and China's motives which caused the current frictions and its' future outlook. He also explained about the current state of digitalization in Asia. Regarding U.S.-China trade frictions, forecasts call for explosive growth in semiconductor production in China in addition to steel, automobile, and liquid crystal panel production. Similar to previous U.S.-Japan semiconductor frictions, U.S.-China tensions revolve around semiconductor production capacity, and are expected to become more severe. Also, he pointed out the potential of these U.S.-China tensions may trigger an explosive movement by Chinese companies to move out to Asia (hollowing out of the domestic industry), and also companies relocating to southeast Asia, including the MVP (Myanmar, Vietnam and the Philippines) area. In his next topic on digitalization, he explained that the wave of digitalization goes beyond products and manufacturing processes and now influences on the e-commerce and electronic payment services. In particular, in the e-commerce field, Chinese companies established market shares throughout the entire Asian region, leaving no place for American companies such as Amazon and Uber. He also provided the latest case studies on digitalization in sales formats at local supermarkets and meat production. The question and answer session was lively.
JBIC will continue to provide a broad range of information to assist Japanese companies in expanding their overseas business operations.