Business Oregon Announces Team Leading Oregon’s Japanese Representative Office
Continuing a forty-year presence in Japan, Business Oregon announces its new representative to lead Oregon’s Japanese Representative Office and represent the state of Oregon’s business and trade interests in Japan. Masao Kumori will lead Oregon’s team in Japan. Masao has worked with more than 70 major Japanese companies on global investment opportunities and represented North East England in Japan for 23 years to attract investment, collaborate on research and development, and make business-to-business connections. The Japan Representative Office works with Business Oregon staff and stakeholders to increase global business opportunities between Japan and the state of Oregon.
“The rich cultural, education, and business ties between Oregon and Japan have been built through years of dedicated effort from representatives from our state working with our Japanese counterparts,” said Sophorn Cheang, Director of Business Oregon. “Our new group operating Oregon’s Japanese Representative Office will continue this tradition and strengthen our foreign partnerships, while looking for new emerging opportunities.”
The Japan Representative Office helps Oregon exporters and small businesses grow global sales in the Japanese market, coordinates Oregon trade activities, and develops international business recruitment strategies to increase Japanese investment into Oregon. Masao and his team will operate the office in Japan, and also leverage the global resources of Wavteq, a globally recognized investment, trade, and economic development consultancy that Oregon is contracting with to support the state’s global development work.
“Global business, regardless of which industry you are in, is moving at an incredibly rapid pace,” said Masao Kumori. “New policies, companies, and economic realities are shifting the nature of cross-border trade and investment demand, making it essential to improve connections, partnerships, and tools to drive international commerce. Oregon’s competitive advantages provide a unique position to capitalize on these opportunities. The Wavteq team and I are eager to begin our work to advance the state’s long and prosperous business relationships in Japan.”
“We are incredibly excited to represent and help facilitate Japanese cross-border investment and trade opportunities for Business Oregon,” said Dr. Henry Loewendal, CEO of Wavteq. “A talent-rich labor force, competitive industry clusters, highly desirable creative culture, quality of life, and strong track record of export success are among the many reasons we are encouraged for future business growth.”
Oregon and Japan have a strong relationship that spans many decades of trade. Japan is Oregon’s 6th-largest export market with Oregon exports to Japan totaling $1.6 billion in 2021. Semiconductors and other electronic components are Oregon’s top exports into Japan, valued at $365 million last year.
Japan is Oregon’s largest export market for food and agriculture products such as oilseeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, wood products, and other specialty agricultural products. In addition, the aerospace industry is another opportunity for Oregon exporters to Japan, with $108 million in value exported last year.
Japan is one of Oregon’s largest sources of Foreign Direct Investment. Currently, more than 150 Japanese companies have operations in Oregon. Governor Kate Brown has continuously supported and cultivated Oregon’s close relationship with Japan. During Governor Brown’s tenure, the number of Japanese companies in Oregon has increased by 26%, and Oregon’s exports to Japan have increased by 50%.
Oregon is conducting a business development mission to Japan and Korea next month led by Governor Brown, from October 14 through October 26. This important global mission to Asia consists of activities to promote Oregon products, build relationships, and attract Japanese and Korean business investment into the state. While COVID put a hold on in-person trade activities, this trip will be the first Governor-led mission coming out of the pandemic.
Business Oregon can help Oregon small businesses enter new markets and has some matching grant opportunities as well. More information is available online at biz.oregon.gov. Also sign up for future global trade news here.
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