Texas-Japan Trade Relations Abloom in Spring 2018

by Dave Moore, Staff Writer

If person-to-person contact is the cornerstone of doing business in Asia, business leaders in Japan and the Dallas Region have been working steadily toward that end for years. That foundation was further solidified this spring.

A delegation of business leaders from the Dallas Region held dozens of meetings in Japan in April; a major Texas-Japan Summit was held in Houston with strong turnout from the Dallas Region; and leaders from Japan’s Aichi Prefecture stopped in Dallas in May on their own trade mission. Many of those in attendance at the Dallas meeting have attended trade missions to Japan.

“It’s no coincidence that we’re sitting in the Toyota Board Room, and that our relationship continues to deepen,” said DRC President and CEO Dale Petroskey, addressing Aichi Prefecture Gov. Hideaki Ohmura and his delegation on May 11. Less than a month ago, the Dallas Region delegation visited him in Nagoya.

Petroskey said the Aichi Prefecture and Texas have strong, prosperous economies in common. Petroskey said over the past eight years, the Dallas Region has attracted roughly 108 headquarters, including Japanese-owned Toyota, Kubota, OKI Data and NTT Data.

Through a translator, Gov. Ohmura remarked upon the similarities of the strength of the Texas and Aichi economies, especially now that the Texas bullet train is in development.

“Two years ago, Governor Abbott and I signed a [memorandum of understanding] of friendship and mutual cooperation, forming a partnership between Japan and Texas officials,” Gov. Ohmura said. “Ever since, we’ve enjoyed good relations.”

Before visiting the Dallas Region, the Aichi delegation met with Gov. Abbott to discuss ways to expand trade between Japan and Texas, beyond liquefied natural gas sales and the opening of dozens of American operations of Japanese companies, such as Toyota North America, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation and Chubu Electric Power.

During his meeting at the Dallas Regional Chamber, Ohmura encouraged the DRC to work with him to establish direct flights between Aichi Prefecture and Texas. He added that because Aichi Prefecture is Japan’s industrial capital, and the Dallas Region’s economy is growing fast, they can work together to achieve mutual growth.

Ohmura jokingly said that while he visited The Star in Frisco, he tried to buy a replica football jersey commemorating his football hero, Roger Staubach, but was only able to find jerseys of contemporary Cowboys.

Petroskey said he sought out Staubach to attend the May 11 meeting but learned Staubach couldn’t attend because he was traveling. He said he would definitely work to introduce Ohmura and Staubach in the future.


Whirlwind Japan Trip for Dallas-Fort Worth Delegation

Two dozen meetings occurred in Japan between April 16 and April 20 for the visiting Dallas-Fort Worth delegation.

The group traveled to Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima and Tokyo, and met with a variety of companies, organizations and individuals. The group aimed to further boost business ties between the Dallas Region and Japan; trade with Japan accounts for approximately 6 percent of the Dallas Region’s total international trade, making Japan its third largest trading partner, after China and South Korea.

Most notable among the meetings was one between the delegation and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) headquarters office in Tokyo. JETRO recently opened a satellite office in Dallas, allowing the Dallas Region to further strengthen ties with Japanese companies looking to invest in the area. The DRC delegation also met with companies including NEC Corporation, whose U.S. headquarters is in Irving.


Next Up: DRC Mission to Europe

The Dallas Regional Chamber is finalizing its delegation for a June 17-23 trip to London and Paris. To date, 13 business executives from the Dallas Region have confirmed their attendance and will join Dallas and Fort Worth mayors, board members and executive staff at DFW Airport, the Fort Worth Chamber, Visit Dallas and Visit Fort Worth. The deadline to register and submit all travel documents is Friday, May 18.


DRC partners are hosting exciting opportunities related to international business.

Export Finance & Foreign Government Procurement Conference
Tuesday, June 12 | 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Sheraton Arlington Hotel, 1500 Convention Center Drive, Arlington, TX 76011

The U.S. Commercial Service Dallas-Fort Worth office, in collaboration with the North Texas District Export Council and partners, will host the Global Market Connect: Export Finance and Foreign Government Procurement Conference. This event brings together experts from both the public and private sectors to discuss resources available to U.S. exporters and connect companies to foreign government procurement opportunities. Register online for the event here.

New Member Reception & White Asparagus Dinner
Tuesday, June 12 | 6:00 – 8:30 PM
Four Seasons Las Colinas, 4150 North MacArthur Boulevard, Irving, TX 75038

The German American Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome new members, potential members and friends to enjoy white asparagus, a traditional German spring vegetable. Take advantage of this opportunity to expand your network within the German American business community and to learn more about the services and resources offered by the GACC South. Register online for the event here.