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【The Voice of Professional】Question from Ecuador to Mr. Makoto RYOKE, Osaka Prefectural Government- PREX Island

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【The Voice of Professional】Question from Ecuador to Mr. Makoto RYOKE, Osaka Prefectural Government

The interviews to Mr Ryoke, local government officer of Osaka Prefecture Government, have been uploaded onto PREX homepage.
We received various questions from many ex-participants for further information and hints for his/her work.
Here, we would like to share the idea of Mr. Ryoke, “Our work meet the private sector’s needs?”.

To read the interview to Mr. Ryoke, please click the url below.

Interview (1)

Interview (2)

Question 1. Can public institution can execute the project which meet the level of private sector?

Question from Mr. Gustavo Castaneda
Position: Investment Promotion Specialist
Organization: Vice ministry of Export and Investment Promotion – Pro Ecuador

Q: I believe that it is not easy for public institutions to execute projects at a level that will meet the expectations of private citizens. In regards to such sentiments, I would like to ask Mr. Ryoke to share his thoughts on this matter.

   Additionally, what can be done by public institutions to execute such projects at a level that meets the expectations of private citizens? Among our staff members, some of them struggle with situations where “they find themselves not capable of meeting the expectations of private citizens.” How can we help them deal with such emotions?


A.   (Makoto RYOKE)
   I believe that the most important potential as a public officer can be found in his/her attitude trying to meet the expectations of citizens. I can deeply empathize with how frustrated you all must feel.

   I think we also have the same issues in Japan since the same work flow is used to match up local companies/ entrepreneurs and companies/ investors that have been attracted to a region. Generally speaking, the attracted companies are very busy preparing to make investments. Therefore, for the case where matching up with local companies are irrelevant to preparations, they tend to place a low priority on being matched up with local companies. Additionally, as these companies have their own rules on purchasing, there are cases where it is difficult for local companies to participate in this purchasing process.

   As part of my experiences, for a large-scale factory that was attracted to our region, I conducted matching events such as tours to visit local companies that has been producing and selling factory equipment or business meetings on office supplies, housing accommodation, parking lots, lodging etc. However, we found that few orders were placed from the attracted factory to local companies when we asked the result to the local companies after the factory started its operation.

   In the first place, it is not so easy to meet the expectation of the seller as business matching is based on the needs of the buyer. I believe that it is necessary that local companies and entrepreneurs also understand this. One of the approaches that I consider is preparing a packaged service that we find the potential needs of attracted companies/ investors and introduce them to both the attracted companies/ investors and local companies/ entrepreneurs.

   Regarding your point about “how to meet the expectations of citizens,” when I initially started providing direct assistance to companies, I had no formal track record and had not yet established trust. I started out from a position where “I was practically incapable of doing anything.” As the scope of business management issues faced by companies varies widely, to be frank, there are still cases where I feel as if there are very few issues that even I can assist them with as a single support staff member. Because of this, I would venture to say that 80% of the work that I have engaged in up until now has involved “introducing people,” through connecting people to specialists and support institutions that focus on such areas as business management planning, the securing of funding (searching for investors), business matching, technical assistance, assistance for overseas expansion, and design, etc.

   On a daily basis, I am engaged in seeking out such human resources that can provide support, and by meeting with individuals from companies, I try to shed light on the issues that they are facing. And then I connect them. By repeating this process a great number of times, I believe that I was able to gradually earn trust.

   Supporting entrepreneurs by attracting companies to one’s region may be a difficult task for public institutions to undertake. Perhaps you could consider better coordinating your efforts with departments, specialists, and external organizations that engage in providing support to such entrepreneurs. I believe that one approach that can be taken is to reexamine the role that is currently being played by the organization, and if one can identify functions that would be better served if they were delegated to other departments, specialists, and external organizations, such functions should be off-loaded, with the aim of better defining the appropriate role that public institutions should play in supporting entrepreneurs.

   I think that the types and levels of expectations held by citizens varies to a great degree. Additionally, the roles we can play and the level of service provided can vary greatly between different departments in the same public institution. Even in cases where it is not possible to arrive at an answer through one’s own work, by lending a close ear to entrepreneurs’ issues, I believe it is possible for us to support them through such things as introducing them to other resources.

(20th September, 2019)

  • Date : September 20, 2019
  • Name : PREX