On May 1, 2013, JETRO launched the SME Overseas Expansion Platform in São Paulo, the biggest city in Brazil. This is the first such facility in the world aiming to the support overseas business development of Japanese firms, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), through information provision on local law and systems as well as business matching with local firms in cooperation with related organizations.
Helping Japanese SMEs advance into Brazil is also expected to give Brazilian firms more business opportunities, leading to a win-win relationship between them.
The opening ceremony was attended by about 60 people in total, including Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi. Other participants from related organizations which will be cooperating with the Platform included Mr. Noriteru Fukushima, Consul-General of Japan in São Paulo; Mr. Kihachiro Kida, President of the Brazilian Society of Japanese Culture and Social Assistance; Mr. Akinori Sonoda, President of the Federation of Association of Japanese Prefectures; and Mr. Shinsuke Fujii, President of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Brazil.
Minister Motegi expressed his hopes for the performance of the Platform based on sound cooperation among these related organizations.
JETRO São Paulo has mainly been responding to inquiries from Japanese companies on complicated labor or tax-related issues in Brazil. However, recently, requests for finding local business partners such as contract manufacturers have gradually increased. With two coordinators assigned, the Platform will correspond to individual needs utilizing the human networks among Japanese Brazilians and related institutions toward expanding the business relationship between both countries.