Pacific exporters explore market opportunities in Japan

Pacific exporters have the potential to expand the sales of their agricultural products and achieve sustainable export market opportunities in Japan.

This was underscored during a recent virtual Japan Market Brief for exporters and stakeholders in the Pacific and facilitated by the Pacific Islands Centre (PIC) and the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus Program (PHAMA Plus).

The Brief was attended by PHAMA Plus partners and stakeholders from industry working groups, government agencies and business associations.  It provided insight into doing business in Japan, market opportunities, market access information and service offering for interested exporters.

“We’re pleased to work with a key trade and investment agency such as PIC to help our exporters and stakeholders in PHAMA Plus countries grow beyond traditional markets like Australia and New Zealand and harness opportunities in Japan,” PHAMA Plus Team Leader, Mr Andrew Piper said.

“Our mutual interests include supporting exporters, processors, manufacturers and producers to adopt quality and productivity-enhancing innovations for their exports to meet market requirements. This is key not only to economic growth in the Pacific but also recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic.”

PIC and PHAMA Plus are forging closer engagement through an agreement to collaborate and strengthen the private sector in Pacific countries to achieve sustainable export market opportunities in Japan.

“Despite the severe constraints brought about by COVID-19, we continue to provide innovation and support virtually, and this collaboration is an added boost to our work of promoting trade, investment and tourism between Pacific Island countries and Japan,” PIC Director, Ryuzo Saito said.

“There are positive prospects for coffee, cacao and horticulture in the Japanese market among other opportunities. We see potential in the future to conduct market research and develop strategic market development in Japan in cooperation with PHAMA Plus, which has a strong network with agricultural producers and exporters in the Pacific.”

In recent years, PIC has focused on supporting the sales of coffee and cocoa (chocolate) from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa and other countries, to the Japanese market through participation in FOODEX Japan and other information and networking sharing events.

Japan is a highly developed country with the world’s third largest economy after USA and China.  With a population of 130 million, the Japanese market is characterised by consumers with high levels of disposable income who are drawn to premium high-quality goods and services.