Which industries are attracting a lot of attention from investors at the moment?
In general, I would say that cars and electronics are always target sectors. Also healthcare is very important, as our two counties both have to contend with ageing societies. Furthermore, we are seeing a spike of interest in energy storage: car batteries, industry and home usage. Japan has considerable expertise in battery products as well as in raw materials. New ICT-driven businesses like AI, robotics and e-commerce have started to show concrete movement too.
What are the advantages of Germany as a location?
A strong market, high productivity, quality workers, robust infrastructure, high living standards and the Made in Germany brand.
How can you help Japanese companies invest in Germany? And how do you work with the AHK?
I identify potential Japanese investors, inform them about the market conditions and convince them to take the next step, with help from our experts in Berlin. Of course I will also tell them if I think a project won’t be suitable.
Working with AHK-J, we are constantly building up a detailed picture of the economic landscapes in Japan and Germany and where good opportunities exist. There is a lot of knowledge exchange regarding the status of potential investors, selection of speakers and topics, and many other aspects.
What was your biggest success last year?
I could name a few prominent successes – one of Japan’s most successful apparel retailers or a high-profile chemical company, for example – but as I said, we treat all our clients confidentially.