In its ongoing efforts to help European SMEs to access the Japanese market, the EU-Japan Centre is co-organising "Export Support" workshops (online or offline) in cooperation with the EU member organisations of Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). These workshops, currently hold online due to COVID-19, include insights on import and export procedures for local companies, opportunities offered by the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and tips on Japanese business culture.
On 17 September, the EU-Japan Centre and their experts, Ms Chieko Nakabayashi and Mr Yvan Van Eesbeek, spoke to Catalan SMEs from the Agro-food sector about the access to the Japanese market.
The event was organised by the EU-Japan Centre together with General Council of Chamber of Commerce of Catalonia and ACCIO-Catalonia Trade & Investment; CATCIM partners of Enterprise Europe Network.
More than 170 local businesses' representatives expressed an interested in the online seminar and as a result, gained a lot of new information, business contacts, and helpful facts about the Japanese agri-food market.
After introductory remarks by the organisers, the EU-Japan Centre's expert, Ms Nakabayashi, who previously worked for the Food and Agriculture organisation of the United Nations (FAO), gave an overview of opportunities and export procedures for agri-food EU companies. Furthermore, Mr Van Eesbeek consultant on EPA-related matters, spoke about Tariff Rate Quotas in the EU-Japan EPA context. Companies participating in the session, had the opportunity to ask experts about the actual tariffs of their product and the tariff liberation of the product through the years, an important issue when assessing the costs and opportunities of the markets.
Many of the attendees confirmed that the seminar has brought new insights, especially, regarding tariff information as well as confirmation that it requires patience to establish strong and trustworthy business relationships with Japan. In addition, a common space was created where Catalan companies with the same interests could meet and share knowledge and experience about Japan. During the session, SMEs had the access to a private chat and could discuss possible cooperation opportunities in the future. Thanks to the experts and the EU-Japan Centre, Catalan SMEs are now more confident in their approach and trials to expand into the Japanese market.
More information on forthcoming Regional Export Support Online Workshops