Magazine article International Trade Forum

Japan: New Outreach, at Home and Abroad. (TPOs in a Turbulent New Business Environment)

Magazine article International Trade Forum

Japan: New Outreach, at Home and Abroad. (TPOs in a Turbulent New Business Environment)

Article excerpt

Global trends in foreign investment, industry restructuring, the spread of international trade rules and the instantaneous availability of business information on the Internet are moving JETRO's focus beyond national borders.

The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japan's official trade promotion organization, was established in 1958. Since then, its worldwide network has grown, with 80 offices overseas and 37 local offices in Japan. Although JETRO was set up to promote Japanese exports, today it also promotes imports, technology transfer and foreign investment and supports exports and industries of developing economies. It even functions as a think-tank.

With its extensive network, human resources and know-how, JETRO intends to evolve into a TPO serving the world. Tie-ups and cooperation between TPOs, indeed, should be our keywords.

New focus on investment

Traditionally, many nations have divided trade and investment promotion between separate organizations. Many TPOs contend that their primary function is to promote trade.

JETRO has integrated trade and investment within the same organization, as it is difficult to promote trade effectively without considering global trends in foreign direct investment and national investment promotion activities.

Our roles

* Providing business information. Providing timely business information is more critical than ever in a globalized world. We depend on the Internet to provide information that encourages Japanese business development overseas as well as investment in Japan. JETRO disseminates national economic and trade statistics, country studies, investment data, trade fair calendars and other information on the Internet, as well as through its Trade Tie-up Promotion Programme.

* Advocacy for freer trade. In addition to helping foreign companies access the Japanese market, JETRO promotes global and regional free trade. JETRO also helps to build capacities of selected trading partners. For instance, we hold symposia on legal infrastructures that help nations create more effective market economies.

Restructuring of companies and industries, coupled with greater foreign direct investment, is changing international business structures on a scale and at a speed never seen before. Following the establishment of the World Trade Organization in 1995, international trade rules and dispute resolution schemes have strengthened free trade, and the new Doha Development Round will continue to do so. …

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