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Opportunities for Doing Business in Japan

The Greater Memphis Chamber is here to be a resource for area businesses and one way we help businesses grow is through our International Business Council. The IBC acts as an advocate and strategist for area businesses looking to export products and grow their business in international markets. Members of the IBC travel to key markets each year to promote Memphis as a designation for Foreign Direct Investment, to learn about trade opportunities and connect our region’s businesses to those opportunities.

Recently, the Chamber’s Ernest Strickland traveled to Japan for the Southeast U.S./Japan Annual Conference with other representatives from the State of Tennessee. 
In this Q&A, Strickland tells us why the trip was a success. 

Q: What was the purpose of the SEUS-Japan Conference? 
A: The Conference brings representatives from nine US Southeastern states together to promote trade, investment, understanding and friendship between Japan industrial members and member states of the Southeast US. The Chamber has sent representatives to this conference for years because it is so essential to maintain our important business relationships with one of our top trading markets. 

Q: How important is Japan as an international market for Memphis? 
A: Japan is one of our international business target markets. Today over 27 Japanese-owned companies have operations in Memphis, employing over 2,000 people. Tennessee was the 8th highest exporting state to Japan in 2012, exporting $1.8 billion in products to Japan. The Memphis MSA alone exported $922.9 million in products to Japan in 2012. 

Q:  What did you learn from the representatives from Japan?
A: The Japanese leaders gave an update on industries and opportunities in Japan. The delegation provided an update on industrial conditions after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. That created a need for Japanese manufacturers to look for alternative sites in order to continue the manufacturing of goods. Since Memphis is a prime location for manufacturing and distribution, we anticipate a lot of interest from Japanese companies. 

Q: What did you share with Japanese companies about Memphis?
A: In addition to the conference, I met with several Japanese companies with operations in Memphis giving them a presentation on how doing business in Memphis has become more streamlined and how their companies benefit from these efficiencies. Government officials and the business community are working together more closely than ever before and that will help attract possible future expansions or additional investment in Memphis. 

Q: What did the Japanese companies seem most interested in when discussing Memphis?
A: Companies look at Memphis as a key market for their growth and to hear that from an international business community is exciting. We’re a community of critical importance. Memphis’ low cost of doing business allows them to meet and maintain their projections and our quick shipping options and central geographic location meets their top priorities. 

If you would like to learn more about opportunities in Japan or want to become more involved in the International Business Council, contact Ernest Strickland: or call 901-543-3548. 
Posted: 10/27/2014 7:30:00 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: business, ibc, international, japan, memphis

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