Government Procurement in Japan - Obstacles and Opportunities for European SMEs

The EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation (EU side) is pleased to release a new comprehensive Report on "Government Procurement in Japan: Obstacles and Opportunities for European SMEs".

This 85-page report has been undertaken in the framework of the new "Minerva Fellowship" programme initiated by the Centre in 2013 (financed by the EU side) and is based on desk and field research as well as factual first-hand information collected through interviews with relevant stakeholders in Japan. The information contained in the Report  reflects the views of the author only and not necessarily the views and position of the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation,  the EU Commission or Japan authorities.  

The Report addresses, probably for the first time, the government procurement market in Japan from the perspective of European SMEs. It underlines that the European presence in the Japanese Government procurement market consists mainly of larger companies that have established fully-fledged Japanese subsidiaries and are primarily supplying state of the art technology and/or a "unique product" with no alternatives available. The few European SMEs identified are all active in high-end niche markets in the fields of scientific equipment or services.  The core of the Report is focused on an analysis of the obstacles as well as opportunities for European SMEs who enter this particular market.

Very relevantly, the reports provides a number of recommendations for the corporate actors (the SMEs), the European Commission and the Japanese Government. The FTA/EPA negotiations as well as the ambitious agenda of the current Abe Government is seen as a chance for a turning point in the government procurement policy approach in Japan, which could open future opportunities for competitive European SMEs.

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