Leads Trade Delegation to Japan
From Sept. 24-30, I accompanied Gov. Jim Doyle as he led a business
delegation to Japan. For many years, Japan has been Wisconsin's second-largest
export customer. Wisconsin's exports to Japan totaled $816.7 million
in 2003. Strong export commodities in 2003 included electrical machinery,
up 75.0 percent to $34.8 million; vehicles, up 58.4 percent to $17.3
million; and paper and paperboard, up 36.5 percent to $9.6 million.
The Governor had three principle objectives for leading the delegation
1. Sell Wisconsin as a site for Japanese investments
The Governor addressed the 36th annual Midwest US-Japan/Japan- Midwest
US Associations Conference on September 27. The conference provides
a forum for discussing the growth and progress of economic relations
between the Midwest and Japan. The Governor discussed his efforts to
improve Wisconsin's business climate - balancing the budget without
a tax increase and instituting comprehensive regulatory reform. His
reforms are working. Over the past year, Wisconsin has led the Midwest
region of the United States in job creation and in the creation of manufacturing
The Governor also mentioned traditional Wisconsin advantages such as:
- The nation's best educational system--K-12 through vocational and
- Strong heritage in agriculture and manufacturing
- Well-educated and productive workforce
- Four-season recreation and natural beauty
- Safe communities, reasonable living costs, and short commutes
More than 30 years ago, Kikkoman Corporation was the first Japanese
company to establish a facility in the US. Mr. Yuzaburo Mogi, Chairman
and CEO of Kikkoman Foods, Inc., and Chairman of the Japan-Midwest U.S.
Association, arranged a reception for the Governor with senior executives
from Toyota, Honda, Toshiba, and All Nippon Airways and the Japanese
Ministers of Finance and Economy, Trade and Industry.
2. Sell Wisconsin's bioscience capabilities and promote Japanese/
Wisconsin partnerships in this area
The Governor used his appearance at the JETRO Biolink Conference in
Tokyo September 27 to highlight new developments and opportunities for
cooperation between Japanese and Wisconsin biotechnology companies.
Wisconsin's bioscience assets include:
- A comprehensive bioscience research base: clustered around technologies
that have the potential to save and improve lives, to clean our water
and land, to more efficiently feed the world, and to produce profitable
goods and services.
- A number-3 ranking among all states in total federal research spending
- A number-6 ranking among public universities in patents awarded
- A cutting-edge position in regenerative medicine, personalized medicine,
bioinformatics, proteomics, and medical devices.
- Prominent bioscience research institutions such as UW Madison, Medical
College of Wisconsin, and Marshfield Clinic., Marshfield, headline-making
expertise in epidemiology, genetics, personalized medicine, food safety,
zoonotics, and clinical research, leader in the fight against West
Wisconsin's bioscience industry has become renowned for groundbreaking
research. James Thomson, Ph. D., grew stem cells without differentiation
in a laboratory culture, opening the door to human applications for
human stem cell research. Two of the first three companies in the world
to create a test for the SARS virus in early 2003 were Wisconsin firms
- Prodesse of Waukesha and EraGen of Madison. The Marshfield Clinic
was the first to isolate the "monkeypox" virus in 2003
3. Expand economic dimension of sister-state relationship with Chiba
Gov. Doyle and Gov. Akiko Domoto of Chiba Prefecture, Japan, share a
vision of expanded relationship between the two sister states based
on scientific and business partnerships. Among our areas of mutual interest
are biomass technology to meet energy needs, biotechnology partnerships
to further life-saving medical discoveries and profitable industrial
applications. During the trip, Gov. Doyle and the delegation will hear
presentations by WARF and Kazuza DNA Research Institute regarding research
exchange in biotechnology and business-academic collaborations. In addition,
the two governors will sign policy dialogue agreements to share information
on a wide range of domestic policy issues, from economic stimulation
to social welfare.
I encourage Wisconsin companies thinking about expanding or beginning
export effort in Japan to contact the Department of Commerce at 608/266-1480.
Let's build on the Governor's efforts to establish increased business
between Japan and Wisconsin.
---Cory L. Nettles, Secretary
The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.
Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.