RECOMMENDATION A: ACTION
The Government response stated that the Action
Japan programme would be reviewed annually. It would be helpful
to have a copy of the evaluation of the Action Japan progamme
The Country Market Plan for 1999-2000 formed
the basis for the work of the Action Japan campaign throughout
the year. The annexes to the plan are the more detailed sector
plans for each of our nine initiative sectors, plus a cross-sectoral
theme of Investment into Japan. These are attached at Annex A.
Since the last update report to the TISC, the only change to the
list of initiative sectors has been the addition of Automotive
The sector plans for each of these initiative
sectors are living documents, updated regularly with quarterly
input from the six Japan Trade Advisers members of the private-sector
advisory body for Japan, each of whom "shadows" our
work in one or two of these sectors. The inclusion of the appropriate
sectors is reviewed in this body annually and incorporated into
the subsequent year's country market plan.
Since 1998, the DTI (subsequently Trade Partners
UK) has moved away from evaluating the success of campaigns that
are based on macroeconomic dataeg overall level of exports.
Evaluations of the effectiveness of the campaign have therefore
taken place periodically, with results being taken into account
at the annual production of the Country Market Plan. Key indicators
in this respect are:
New companies introduced to the market.
Surveys of companies who have used
TPUK services, such as attending seminars, commissioning tailored
market information, and attending TPUK-supported trade missions
and trade fairs.
Records of success stories for companies
we have assisted.
Since 1998, EJU has started working with a total
of 3,008 additional companies not previously known to us (this
is compared to a total customer base of 9,563). Although precise
data about when they were "introduced" to the market
is difficult to ascertain, samples we have analysed from our database
suggest that one in five of these, or 600 companies in total have
no previous significant trading relationship with Japan. The original
target of 1,000 companies by the end of 2001 should be in reach
although work is now underway within TPUK to standardise the evaluation
of all target markets, which may mean a refocusing of objectives.
As far as customer satisfaction for TPUK services
is concerned, independently-commissioned surveys show a consistent
level of satisfaction of over 90 per cent (NB the figures are
aggregated for the International Group of TPUK as a whole but
the desk keeps copies of Japan-specific returns). The TPUK Operational
Research Unit's (ORU) overview of UK promotional events organised
by TPUK from January-June 2000 shows the following:
Target: 50 per cent of participants
adjust their approach to exporting through help given. Achieved
overall (92 per cent), up from 91 per cent for the previous quarter.
Target: 70 per cent of participants
improve knowledge as a result of events. Achieved overall (96
per cent), up from 93 per cent for the previous quarter.
Target: 80 per cent of participants
satisfied with events. Achieved overall (98 per cent), the same
as the previous quarter.
Overall satisfaction 98 per cent, of whom 35
per cent very satisfied
Target 50 per cent of participants
return questionnaires to event organisers. Achieved overall (50
per cent) and by IG2 and IG4, up from 41 per cent overall for
the previous quarter.
Forty-five per cent (previous quarter:
43 per cent) of participants said they would research further
as a result of the event; 41 per cent (previous quarter: 36 per
cent) said they would visit the overseas market. 40 per cent (previous
quarter: 40 per cent) wanted further contact, 20 per cent (previous
quarter: 20 per cent) of whom by a Market Desk.
Full information on this research, which is
produced by Harris Research for TPUK is available on request.
In addition we produce evaluation reports on specific major events
we organise to promote Japanese opportunities in specific sectors,
or to introduce companies to the market on trade missions.
Success stories are complied by TPUK staff at
posts in Japan and us. Success stories are sent to Strategy and
Communications section of TPUK and placed in selected trade publications
to promote our services.
In terms of companies assisted by supported
trade missions, for FY 1999-2000, of the 33 scheduled missions,
29 took place with 380 companies taking part.
As part of the branding policy of TPUK, it has
been decided that the Action Japan campaign will be brought to
an end at the end of this financial year. Future activity will
continue to focus on selected initiative sectors, approved by
the successor body to the Japan Trade Advisers (provisionally
named: TPUKJapan Advisers). Japan will also continue to
be TPUK target market, attracting extra resources for assisting
UK companies in their trade development. The name "Action
Japan" and the logo will be discontinued, however.
RECOMMENDATION K: BRITISH
It would be interesting to see the results of
the survey tenants of the British Industry Centre at Yokohama
and the latest assessment of progress there
The survey under reference was produced in May
1999 in conjunction with the City of Yokohama who used it to assess
the impact of the BIC on the local economy. The report is attached
at Annex B.
The summary indicates a high-level of success
in attracting British companies to Yokohama and satisfaction of
the tenants of the Centre. One point which was criticised, however,
was the flat service charge of Y110,000 per month. Since the report
was produced, further companies entering the Centre has allowed
this figure to be reduced to Y65,000.
Current occupancy of the Centre is encouraging.
There are 13 companies in residence, four of which have joined
this year. The majority are industrial companies, a core of which
are software/IT related, taking advantage of the Centre's impressive
IT infrastructure. There is still room for a further seven companies,
although the remaining offices are smaller than the average. A
list of the tenant companies is available on request.
The Committee would be assisted by an update on
the success of the UK High-Tech Website, particularly the response
from UK companies
This project continued until the Summer of this
year, at which time the service came to an end. The site started
up on 1997 through sponsorship of Mitsubishi Research Institute,
Itochu Corporation and Creative Link of Japan. It required Y1.5
to two million per month to maintain this service, principally
translation, all of which came from Japanese sponsors.
Press releases from UK firms were supplemented
by a monthly summary report on high-tech in the UK, edited by
Mr H Kato, a representative of Gifu prefecture in London (Gifu
is promoting itself as the high-tech capital of Japan) with the
assistance of TPUK export promoters.
Despite promotion efforts of TPUK, DTI and others
in the UK, the volume of information submitted by the UK firms
was not overwhelming. A common problem commented upon by the Japanese
was that UK companies tended not to use the site for their latest
announcements, unlike their US counterparts, but submitted material
a few months delayed. The resource implications for the UK side
in promoting the site and soliciting contributions also became
too onerous, giving shifting resources within TPUK.
In view of these factors, the sponsors decided
not to continue funding the site after this summer, although the
server for the site is still running and available, should we
wish to restart in the future. This would have to be on a commercial
basis to be viable.
Industrial and Trade Relations with Central Europe,
Twelfth Report of 1997-98, HC 893: Government Response, Second
Special Report, HC 211
1. The inquiry concentrated on three of
those countries identified by the European Commission as likely
to attain membership of the EU in the first stage of enlargementHungary,
the Czech Republic and Poland. The principal focus of the inquiry
was a visit to those three countries in July 1998. It also looked
at DTI's Open for Business in central Europe campaign, launched
in January 1997. The Report was published in October 1998 and
the Government's response was published in February 1999.
2. The Committee concluded that January
1997 was late to notice that central Europe was indeed open for
business. DTI accepted the Committee's conclusion with hindsight,
although they felt that starting the campaign earlier would not
necessarily have had the full support of British industry. They
also accepted that numerical targets had probably been a mistake.
3. Prior to the exercise conducted following
the Liaison Committee Report, the Committee had requested updates
from DTI and from the UK Steel Association on progress since the
Government's response. These Memoranda were received in March
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