U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced she will lead a Business Development Mission to Japan and South Korea from October 19-23, 2014 focused on the health care and energy sectors. This will be Secretary Pritzker’s fourth trade mission since taking office in June 2013 and will promote U.S. exports to Japan and South Korea by helping American companies launch or increase their business in these key markets. The Business Development Mission also underscores the Administration’s commitment to strengthening our commercial ties across Asia.
“One of our key functions at the Department of Commerce is to connect U.S. businesses with new opportunities to sell their products and services in markets with significant potential,” said Secretary Pritzker. “We see tremendous opportunities for U.S. businesses in Japan and South Korea, which have energy and health care needs that can be addressed by the goods, services, and expertise of our firms. This trade mission will help us continue to strengthen our economic and commercial ties in the Asia-Pacific region, which is a top priority for the Obama Administration.”
As our fourth and sixth-largest trading partners respectively, Japan and South Korea present ample opportunities for U.S. businesses to sell their goods and services. In both countries, the governments and private sector are making significant investments in both health care and energy. Japan has a $150 million market for medical and health products and South Korea’s total market for drugs and medical device products combined is roughly $21 billion. U.S. businesses are well-positioned to provide innovative health care solutions in both of these countries, where they are focusing efforts on improved treatments, health maintenance and better overall health.
With respect to energy, following the March 2011 natural disasters and nuclear emergency in Japan, the country is in need of new energy sources and is looking to optimize their mix of energy imports. Additionally, both short and long term opportunities exist in the South Korean energy sector. Due to the lack of natural resources, both Japan and South Korea have long been dependent on imported energy sources to meet their energy needs.
The Business Development Mission delegation will be composed of senior executives from 20-25 U.S. firms, representing the mission’s target sectors of health care and energy. Representatives of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) will be invited to participate to provide information and counseling regarding their suite of programs and services on federal trade promotion and financing capabilities in Japan and South Korea. This collaborative interagency approach highlights the shared interest among U.S. Government agencies in promoting Japan and South Korea as critical overseas markets. This collaborative interagency approach highlights the “all of government” approach to President Obama’s National Export Initiative.