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Tuesday, April 09, 2019, 15:41
Japan's business leaders showing growing interest in Bay Area
By Wang Xu
Tuesday, April 09, 2019, 15:41 By Wang Xu

This photo taken on Feb 9, 2017 shows the Shenzhen Bay Bridge connecting Shenzhen and Hong Kong. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

TOKYO, Japan - Business owners and observers from Japan are showing a growing interest in the development of China’s Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area - as officials from the three places are set to promote the region’s future opportunities in Tokyo on Tuesday.

China’s Bay Area provide a great chance for small and medium-sized enterprises of Japan because it means a much bigger customer base and unlimited potential,

Keiichiro Yoshida, Head,

Global strategy Division,

International Visual Corp

The full-day symposium on Bay Area development aims to encourage greater cooperation while creating more business opportunities.

Japanese business leaders are optimistic. “China’s Bay Area provide a great chance for small and medium-sized enterprises of Japan because it means a much bigger customer base and unlimited potential,” said Keiichiro Yoshida, head of global strategy division of International Visual Corp, a Tokyo-based advertising agency.

Yoshida said his company achieved “unexpected success” in promoting Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport in Guangzhou last year as their exhibition received nearly 250,000 people in just three days.

“From that time, I started to tell my cooperation partners and colleagues in Japan that winning the Chinese market is winning the world,” Yoshida said.

The symposium is one of the key activities during a three-day visit to Japan by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. This is her second trip to the country in six months.

Attending the symposium with Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui and Macao's Secretary for Administration and Justice Sonia Chan Hoi-fan, Lam will also meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today.

ALSO READ: HK welcomes Greater Bay Area development blueprint

Deepening cooperation between Hong Kong and Tokyo will bring considerable benefits and a new impetus for growth. The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Tokyo Bay Area share similarities, but their potential for rivalry is not strong, said Zhou Mouzhi, a professor of economics at Tokyo Keizai University.

The Bay Area has more space for development compared with the crowded Tokyo Bay Area, Zhou said.

According to new statistics, the Tokyo Bay is home to one-third of Japan’s population, generating one-third of its gross domestic product. However, it takes up only 3.5 percent of the country’s land area.

“Tokyo Bay is a lesson in development for China in areas like urban planning, management, environment protection, and industrial interaction,” Zhou added.

The market scale of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will also assist Japan.

“Japan will benefit from the cooperation as its population decrease has long brought about a labor shortage and shrinking market to the country while China’s market is still growing,” said Dai Erbiao, vice-president of Asian Growth Research Institute in Fukuoka, Kyushu prefecture.

Technological cooperation between the two sides is no longer one-sided. There is now new technology in Hong Kong and Guangdong which is superior to Japan’s. It is therefore mutually beneficial to both sides; this could lead to further achievements, Dai said.

READ MORE: 'One country, two systems' vital to Bay Area development

However, Hong Kong should do more to show its special advantages under “one country, two systems”. It could also highlight its role as a service provider to attract more Japanese investment, Dai said.

Echoing Dai, Mitsuru Hanai, president of Office Hani Co, said many Japanese companies were willing to set up regional headquarters in Hong Kong because “they valued the city’s financial and legal services”.

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