"New Value Creation Exhibition 2016" — A Report from the Front Lines

600 SMEs and their Impressive Products, Technologies, and Services — All Under One Roof

Organized by SME Support, JAPAN, the "New Value Creation Exhibition" enjoys attendance by some 50,000 people every year. This year's exhibition, the New Value Creation Exhibition 2016 (Small and Medium Enterprise Exhibition Tokyo) began on October 31, 2016, and will be held over the next three days. 600 small and midsize enterprises from across Japan will come to exhibit their impressive products, technologies, and services, advertise their strengths, and make business matches that might lead to creating new value. Among the activities at the event, which was planned in conjunction with the J-GoodTech business matching site (JGT), 32 Japanese SMEs registered on J-GoodTech (J-GoodTech-listed enterprises) will conduct a panel exhibition, and business talks will be held between Japanese enterprises and enterprises based in Vietnam and Taiwan. The event began on the 31st with companies talking about themselves in the hopes of expanding their business.

Optimism about matching through business talks

Over the course of the three day event, 110 talks will be conducted between Vietnamese and Taiwanese enterprises and Japanese enterprises registered on J-GoodTech. 52 J-GoodTech-listed enterprises will take part in the talks. 13 Taiwanese companies that included electronic metal parts purchaser Nijes Enterprises and electronic part manufacturer Wun Taix, as well as 14 Vietnamese enterprises such as industrial kitchen and laundry equipment contractor Hayen Corporation and metalworking company Le Group Manufacturing and Trading Joint Stock Company will be also in attendance.

More than 30 talks were held on the 31st , one of which led to Yamashina Seiki (Ritto City, Shiga) finding a match with a Vietnamese enterprise. Commenting on his optimism about the talks, FA Design General Manager and Central Lab Director Makoto Hosaka says, "many of the employees at these Vietnamese companies had done training in Japan. This made the talks proceed quite smoothly." A machine tools manufacturer, Yamashina Seiki took part in the talks with the aim of procuring parts. The company seeks to find a local partner that will allow it to expand its business into ASEAN nations.

One attendee, a member of the overseas business department at a parts manufacturer, had the following to say about the tough road ahead after matching up with a Taiwanese enterprise: "We participated in the talks in order to gain a foothold in business involving Taiwan and Vietnam. I believe this was a good first step. Now the real challenge and hard conversations begin." The company has taken part in several business talks through J-GoodTech and succeeded in matching up with a local company at the Malaysian business talks in March 2016. The companies are now already doing business together as partners.

  • No-nonsense business talks aimed at striking a deal

Visitors show great interest in the panel exhibition

At the panel exhibition, 32 J-GoodTech-listed enterprises showed off their signature products, technologies, and services. On the morning of the 31st, SME Support, JAPAN Director & CEO Hiroshi Takada came to look at the panels alongside many visitors to the venue. Interest levels were high as visitors asked enterprises about what their products could do and what they were used for.

Another part of the event was the "J-GoodTech Seminars," conducted as a means to raise J-GoodTech's profile and attract more users to the site. Naoyuki Kiyomatsu, New Market Development Coordinator in the Marketing Support Department at SME Support, JAPAN, took the podium in a seminar entitled "Overseas Expansion by JGT-Listed Enterprises." During the seminar, Kiyomatsu talked about the "necessity of effectively capturing overseas demand," addressing the anticipated downturn in domestic demand as Japan's society grows older, an issue Japanese SMEs are being forced to confront.

He went on to call for greater participation in J-GoodTech, on which are registered 3,500 domestic SMEs, 300 large companies, and 2,500 overseas enterprises, saying that SMEs "must do something about the four 'don't haves / don't knows': not knowing how to compete with one's products and services, not knowing overseas markets and customers, not having name recognition among overseas enterprises, and not having overseas sales channels."

Enterprise members attending the seminars listened intently to his message.

Running until November 2, this year's New Value Creation Exhibition appears to set the stage for numerous enterprise matchups that will some day foster innovation.

  • Incorporating gestures in an effort to create interest in his company's products and technologies