New Challenges for Entering the Japanese Market (Feb.17-March 15,2011)
The Capacity Development Seminar for the Trade Promotion Between Central America & Caribbean Countries and Japan was implemented from Feb. 17-March 15, 2011, for five countries:
Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Nine people, comprising public-sector officials and staff at industrial associations in charge of export promotion, came to Japan for the seminar. They learned about the special features of Japanʼs food-products market and trade systems (distribution, tariffs, legal system, etc.) and drafted assistance plans for their local businesses.
A Seminar Plan Spanning 3 Years
This seminar was scheduled to run from fiscal 2009 to fiscal 2011. For those three years, the organizations that dispatch participants have become fixed, because they can gain more positive results from the seminar by passing on the things learned to the participants of the following fiscal year.
In the last fiscal year, the participants learned the fundamental awareness necessary for exporting to Japan, and they also verified for us, from various perspectives, the products of their own countries with high export potential. In the current fiscal year, the objective is to decide on a plan for the entry into Japan of products that last year’s participants selected. The strengths and weaknesses of the products in light of the Japanese market are to be re-examined.
Toward the Next Fiscal Year
Based on the local needs, we are considering taking part in FOODEX JAPAN next year, Japan’s largest food-products trade fair, which will be held while the seminar runs. By participating in the trade fair, the seminar participants will be able to learn in practical terms about the procedures necessary for market entry into Japan and quality standards demanded by buyers and other issues. It will become possible to have a draft containing a concrete strategy for entering this market.
The challenges of taking part of the trade fair definitely are not easy. Even so, we expect this to be a big step for Central America and the Caribbean countries toward entering the Japanese market.