Business collaboration: Thailand and Japan’s Wakayama join forces in furniture and agriculture sectors

Photo: Bangkok Post.

Thailand is geared towards fostering new partnerships with Japan’s Wakayama prefecture, with a particular emphasis on the co-development of the furniture and agricultural processing sectors. The main objectives of this business collaboration include enhancing product development and expanding export possibilities.

Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, following a discussion with Wakayama’s governor, Kishimoto Shuhei, yesterday, stated that he urged the prefecture to encourage business collaboration between Thai and Japanese entrepreneurs within the furniture and agricultural processing sectors. This would facilitate the creation of joint products that capitalise on each nation’s unique capabilities.

Phumtham also encouraged Wakayama’s agricultural processing entrepreneurs to consider sourcing raw materials from Thailand for their products. He specifically mentioned Nakata Foods Co, an attendee at the recent Thaifex–Anuga Asia 2023 food and beverage trade fair, which has shown interest in importing passion fruit juice from Thailand to manufacture alcoholic beverages. Phumtham confirmed that negotiations between the companies are currently underway.

He assured Shuhei that the ministry is prepared to offer its complete support to any other prefecture companies interested in importing Thai goods.

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On May 28, 2019, Thailand’s International Trade Promotion Department signed a memorandum of understanding with the Wakayama government. The agreement was designed to stimulate trade cooperation and the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in both countries.

Phumtham remarked that this pact has facilitated ongoing collaboration between the two regions.

Business Collaboration Objectives

Phumtham stated that in the past, the Commerce Ministry participated in joint meetings with Thai private sector representatives and the Federation of Thai Industries to emphasise cooperation in the furniture industry.

“The goal is to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs in both countries to connect and develop products together by using innovations and knowledge to add value.

“The ultimate aim is facilitating the expansion of export markets between the two regions, as well as increasing export opportunities to other countries.”

Located in the Kansai region, bordering Osaka, Nara, and Mie, Wakayama is easily accessible via the Kansai airport or Shimotsu port. It also boasts a land transport network connected to major cities in the Kansai region.

Wakayama’s SMEs primarily focus on textiles, furniture, leather goods, machinery, and household items. Its key industries encompass petroleum, chemicals, steel, machinery, and food production, reported Bangkok Post.

Investments in the prefecture are on the rise, with a generous subsidy of up to ¥10 billion (2.92 billion baht) available for businesses investing in or expanding their operations in Wakayama under certain conditions. This subsidy is the highest available in Japan, and there is also a loan fund established for new businesses or plant expansion.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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