New Gateway Programme to assist European companies
From 2 June 2008 the EU Gateway Programme provides professional mentoring and coaching to EU companies that want to do business in Japan and Korea and offers them the possibility to participate in one-week business events in these target markets. The new phase of this business cooperation programme builds upon the experience of the Gateway to Japan Campaign which has helped about 2.500 European companies to find business partners in Japan over the last 14 years.
Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner said “In the coming six years the EU Gateway Programme will support European companies to develop trade and investment with Japan and South Korea. Experience over the past years has shown that especially SMEs profit from this kind of support. Therefore, I hope that the European business community will seize the new opportunities of the enhanced EU Gateway Programme and its many events to come”.
By contrast with traditional business promotion, this Programme supports EU companies at every step of their business strategy toward Japan and Korea. Participants in the EU Gateway Programme will be coached by a team of dedicated and experienced professionals in the business environment of these dynamic markets. Coaching will be provided before, during and after each event and will also be available during individual meetings with potential Japanese and Korean business partners.
The evaluation of the former Gateway to Japan Programme (1994-2007) has shown a clear benefit and positive impact on understanding the Japanese market, increasing business contacts and investment prospects. To enhance effectiveness, the format has been improved to better accommodate companies in the technology and design sectors.
Extensive preparation and coaching will aim to address frequent difficulties in these markets, such as approval procedures and the need to adapt to product specifications. The new-style business events will also offer a platform for cooperation between European companies and their Japanese and Korean counterparts and an excellent first-hand understanding of doing business in Japan and Korea.
The Programme aims to organise around 30 missions to Japan and 15 to Korea in the coming 6 years. Missions will be arranged according to economic sector and will accommodate up to 40 EU companies for Japan and up to 30 EU companies for Korea.