by Dave Moore, Staff Writer
More than 125 business leaders, policy experts and politicians from the Dallas Region and Japan gathered July 7 to celebrate and reinforce their mutual affinity toward building connections and expanding trade.
Leaders from Toyota, OkiData, the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, and more than a dozen other Japanese companies and trade organizations met as part of the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Japan Summit, to recognize current business collaborations between North Texas and Japan, and to foster more deals going forward.
The summit came a day after the grand opening of the billion-dollar Toyota Motor North America facility in Plano, which brought more than 4,000 jobs and the promise of a total of $10 billion invested into the community, over the next five years.
Toyota CFO Osamu Nagata spoke at the summit about the lengthy history his company has in Texas and in other states around the country; Nagata said Japanese automakers have spent $45 billion in their operations across the U.S., creating 1.5 million jobs. More important, Nagata said, is that Toyota also works to be a good corporate citizen.
Nagata’s discussion included a video that showed how his firm used its non-profit arm – the Toyota Production Support Center (TSSC) – to incorporate Toyota’s production efficiencies into the workings of the North Texas Food Bank. Under the TSSC’s guidance, the Southern Dallas food pantry serves 60 percent more clients than before, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Hastings said Bell’s first international helicopter sale was to Japan, and the relationship has been growing steadily.
“Larry Bell himself went to Japan to deliver that,” Hastings said. “For 55 years, we’ve had a longtime partner with Fuji Heavy Industries, which has been rebranded as Subaru. Our partnership to Japan goes way back. And if there’s a learned, we’ve learned about doing business in Japan – it’s about relationships. Probably more than anywhere else in the world, we have found you do business with people who you trust, value and love. And who trust, value and love you in return. That’s the key to success there.”
Other speakers included Texas Central Managing Director of External Affairs Holly Reed, who spoke of the Japanese technology that will serve as the core for the high-speed rail line slated to connect Dallas to Houston as early as 2023, and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan J. Thomas Schieffer, who underscored the economic importance of growing trade relations between Texas and Japan.
“Much of the reason for being here today, to celebrate Toyota’s opening of its North American headquarters, comes from the fact that Texas has become the de facto capital of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement,” Schieffer said. (For a full transcript of the ambassador’s remarks, click here.)
Last November, a trade delegation from Dallas Region traveled to Japan to fortify existing and grow new relationships. A return trip is expected in 2018.
Other Japanese companies and organizations with operations in the Dallas Region represented at the summit included Daiwa House Texas, Central Japan Railway subsidiary HTeC, Japan Airways, Kubota Credit Corporation, Mizuho, NEC Corporation of America, and ORIX USA. U.S. companies represented included Jones Day, JLL, KPMG, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Bank of Texas.
The Japan Summit was sponsored by PwC; event partners included Keizai Koho Center, Japan America Society of Dallas-Fort Worth, Honorary Consulate-General of Japan in Dallas, and the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston.
The Dallas Region’s trade delegation returned from Canada on June 17, after having spent six days meeting with business and political leaders in Toronto and Montreal. The group, which included Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, focused on trade, tourism and the use of smart city tech to improve the quality of life for fast-growing metro areas such as the Dallas Region, Toronto and Montreal. The trip has yielded a variety of leads, which will be developed in coming weeks and months. For a summary of media coverage of the trip, click here.
The Dallas Regional Chamber is now firming up plans for its next international business mission, this time to China and South Korea. To learn more, contact Melissa Maguire.
The Dallas Regional Chamber’s International Task Force met for the first time on July 29. Chaired by Shin Takahashi, President and CEO of NEC Corporation of America, the group will guide the DRC’s international strategy, assist in developing relationships intended to recruit new corporate facilities to the Dallas Region, develop plans to raise this region’s profile in key markets overseas, and improve our rankings in reputable global city reports relevant to corporate location decision-making. Members of the Chamber should contact Melissa Maguire to learn more.
Upcoming International Events
September 9-13, 2017
Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to organize a trade mission to Hong Kong September 9-13, 2017. To learn more, click here.
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