EU companies business cooperation with Japan
Japan has always been considered a challenging market for foreign businesses to break into. Powerful local competition and consumer resistance to foreign goods are some of the reasons.European investors have discovered that the best vehicle for integrating the Japanese market is in the form of joint ventures and non-direct manufacturing. Since the mid 1980s as these joint ventures became more accepted as insiders by the local market and businesses, they increased the European shareholdings to over fifty percent and often to one hundred percent. They are in an excellent position to increase their business presence in Japan.
In 1992 a special law was passed to promote foreign direct investment in Japan and to set up a "Foreign Affiliate Business Support Company" reducing the need to depend on the local company.
Mergers and Acquisitions were accepted three times more in 1992 than in 1989. Since 1984 two recessions have occurred in Japan. Foreign technology is important for the economy's reorganization and overseas firms are invaluable for job opportunities.
Many EU companies have been doing business in Japan for several decades. European companies appreciate the strong work ethic in Japan as well as the Japanese enthusiasm to reach out and work with other cultures. Most European companies employ at least one hundred Japanese employees.
An organization called Vulcanus in Europe was created years ago where an EU country offers a Japanese student the opportunity to train within their company for eight months. Both sides win where the student will gain an invaluable work and cultural experience and the company will also receive a skilled employee-trainee bringing to the table the Japanese perspective and know-how of how to do business in Japan. Future Japanese executives become familiar with the European business culture.
In 2010 the Mass-Trans Innovation Japan was held in Japan. Many Japanese engineers, managers and exhibitors from Europe attended. The focus of the fair was on the railroad industry. For decades many companies supplied systems, machinery and components such as brakes or other gear necessary for the maintenance of railroad wheels and tracks.
The European Business Council in Japan has been working to convince Japanese partners to open up the market. European railroad companies are ready to do business on a bigger scale in Japan.