Japan and the EU are long-standing economic partners. To mirror this bond, the EU Gateway | Business Avenues programme has targeted Japan for nearly 30 years. Since the launch in 1990, approximately 100 missions supported more than 3400 European companies to develop new business in Japan.
Between 2017 and 2020, the Programme rolled out a new batch of market scoping missions to the Land of the Rising Sun. 407 companies from 25 of the EU Member States joined one or more of the 11 EU-funded market scoping missions organised in key sectors.
Once again, the Programme supported participants before, during and after the missions to ensure that logistics and differing cultures did not stay in the way of business. Through the matchmaking process, European companies built a profile of ideal clients and partners and handpicked the right ones for them.
Business exhibitions, strategically placed within the context of larger yet targeted fairs, attracted more than 7200 visitors to the EU pavilions. Over 3400 business meetings with Japanese companies were pre-arranged by the Programme before the missions. A total of 4514 meetings, also including those organised during the exhibition days or taking place spontaneously on the spot, was deemed useful by the participating European companies.
Looking back on the results achieved, the numbers speak for themselves. Within 6 to 12 months from the first 8 EU-funded mission, 82% of the companies already started or expected to start new business collaborations in Japan, and the Programme helped create nearly 800 new jobs in Europe.
Being backed by the EU helped our companies to leverage more influence in interactions with local business players like private companies, governmental bodies, contractors, and manufacturers. In the words of many participating companies: “thanks to the EU Gateway | Business Avenues programme, more doors opened up in Japan”.