Future Navigators Initiative:
2004 FEALAC Young Business Leaders' Encounter in Tokyo
- "Future Navigators Initiative: 2004 FEALAC Young Business Leaders' Encounter in Tokyo" was held in Japan from 8th to 17th February. This is one of Japan's FEALAC projects, which aims to strengthen the economic ties between East Asia and Latin America.
- Under this project, the government of Japan invited promising young business leaders from 14 East Asian and 17 Latin American FEALAC member countries and organized an intensive program which included seminars, visits to private companies, a short trip to Hiroshima and Kyoto.;
- As a part of the program, an open seminar "East Asia and Latin America - Discovery of business opportunities" was held in Tokyo on 12th February. The participants made presentation about current economic situations in East Asia and Latin America as well as proposals to strengthen the economic relationship between the two regions. They had an active exchange of views with the audience, as well.;
- The participants from the two regions went through the entire program successfully, cultivating friendship and mutual understandings. They also obtained visions to enhance business ties between East Asia and Latin America.
8th - 17th February, 2004
2. Participants (1 participant from each country) (see participants list [PDF])
(1) 17 participants from the Latin American FEALAC member countries
Argentine, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela
(2) 13 participants from the East Asian FEALAC member countries
Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
(1) Seminar "East Asia and Latin America - Discovery of business opportunities"
The open seminar was held in Tokyo on 12th February. During the seminar the participants made presentations under 4 themes:(1) Current economic situations (trade and Investment) of East Asia and Latin America,
(2) Current situations and prospects of economic partnership including regional integration and free trade agreements (FTAs),
(3) Sectors that each region expects to strengthen economic ties, and
(4) Proposals to strengthen the economic relationship between the two regions.
After the presentation, the participants exchanged views actively with the audience including Japanese business people, scholars and university students.
On one day before the seminar, when they prepared themselves for it, Prof. Tsunekawa from the University of Tokyo gave them a lecture on "FEALAC and its significance for private businesses". Each participant made a short presentation about the current economic situations and principal industries of his/her country in order to deepen understanding among themselves.
(2) Other events
The participants visited private businesses such as Toyota Co. Ltd., Sanwa Electric Works LTD., Support Centre of Japan External Trade Organization, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Japan Small and Medium Enterprise Corporation.
They also enjoyed a short trip to Hiroshima and Kyoto and broadened their knowledge about Japanese culture, history and the way of living.
4. Comments by the Participants about the Seminar
The comments on the Seminar made by some of the participants are as follows:
- "The cultural differences of both regions are well known, however, after spending a few days together with the other participants, I have come to realize that these differences are minimal, and the opportunities for business are abundant. We need to take advantage of the business opportunities that East Asia and Latin America can offer to each other."
- "I think that this kind of seminar will contribute to improve commercial relationships between the two regions because we were able to obtain a better understanding about each culture and behavior."
- Now that we know more about countries and the economic conditions in each region, I am sure that there will be more business opportunities in the future between the two regions.
- FEALAC is an important tool for achieving successful business projects and for evaluating different countries' economies.
- The seminar was very important to make a good relationship between the two regions. The result of the seminar should be shared to give information for future business activities.
- The seminar should have looked more deeply into the investment opportunities in both regions.
Overall, this project seemed to be quite successful. Young business leaders from the two regions enhanced mutual understandings and had a great chance to find business opportunities between East Asia and Latin America through in-depth discussions. In particular, by working together and having frank discussions during the preparation for the seminar, the participants not only acquired enough information on the economic situations in the two regions and possible business opportunities, but also developed personal friendship. It is greatly expected that the personal ties among the young business leaders will contribute to promote and strengthen the relationship between East Asia and Latin America.
This project was a new challenge, in which the private business sectors of the FEALAC member countries were involved. Japan believes that this type of project, especially focusing on younger generation, is significantly important to strengthen the relationship between the two regions in the future. The Japanese government welcomes that other FEALAC member countries carry out similar projects.
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