Department of State Development

08 Mar 2019 Food wine and agribusiness

New SA trade and investment office in Tokyo opens

Growing local jobs, driving inbound investment and creating new opportunities for South Australian exporters in the world’s third largest economy will be the focus of the Marshall Government’s new trade and investment office in Japan.

The office, located in the Australian Embassy in Tokyo, was officially opened yesterday by His Excellency, the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia, who was accompanied by SA Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway.

The office will cover the North East Asia Region – including Korea – which accounts for more than $1.07 billion a year in SA exports.

Minister Ridgway said the office was the second to be opened by the Marshall Government as part of its $12.8 million investment, following the establishment of the Shanghai, China, office in November last year.

“This is a significant opportunity for SA businesses, including thousands of small businesses, looking to unlock new opportunities in the key export markets of Japan and Korea but who might not know where or how to start,’’ said Minister Ridgway.

“The Marshall Government is committed to growing our state exports, from wine and wheat, to meat and minerals, to drive economic growth and create more local jobs.

“We also know that by having a strong presence in Tokyo, we can encourage more international investment into South Australia which will have positive flow-on economic benefits across the state.

“Already, a number of Japanese companies have invested in South Australia, such as Mitsubishi Motors which is building its Australian headquarters at Adelaide Airport; NEC, which opened a new cyber security centre in Adelaide; and Kirin, through Lion Nathan, which invested AU$70 million in a redevelopment of the West End Brewery in Adelaide in 2015.

“From Korea, we have Hyundai Motor Company which has four dealerships and one official sales and service centre in SA; Samsung Electronics which has two retail stores in SA; the Kumho Asiana Group, which operates a large tyre distribution centre; and the Daewoo Group represented in Adelaide by its logistics division, Daesan Global.”

In the 12 months to December 2018, Japan was South Australia’s fifth largest export destination for goods, valued at $744 million, representing 6.5 per cent of total exported goods from the state.

Average growth in total merchandise exports to Japan over the five years to December 2018 was 3.8 per cent.

SA-based Thomas Foods International – which has established its own office in Japan to help drive exports into the region – says the new trade and investment office in Tokyo, will provide greater support for local SA businesses.

“It will not only provide us with guidance and support, it will also give us South Australian Government endorsement, showing that South Australian companies operating in the markets are export-ready and willing to do business with counterparts in-market,” said Tim Davis, TFI’s Regional Manager North Asia.

“The office will also assist us with trade promotion, presentations to clients, product launches and support us when we undertake sustainable business innovation that helps us reshape our business models for the market.”

Minister Ridgway also announced that the office will be led by newly-appointed Commissioner, South Australia – Japan and Korea, Sally Townsend. 

South Australia’s other trade and investment offices will be established in the Middle East (Dubai), the United States and South East Asia (Kuala Lumpur).

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