Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner stated: "In the coming six years the EU Gateway Programme will support the broader European union strategy to develop trade and investment with Japan and South Korea. I hope 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 missions, 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. Experience has shown that EU companies in these sectors require a better understanding of the regulatory framework and of market perspectives for a successful entry strategy in Japan and Korea.
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 co-operation 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. The next missions in the Health & Medical Technology sector are:
- To Japan: 14-18 September 2009, application period is from 26.01.09 to 05.05.2009
- To Korea: 23-27 November 2009, application period is from 25.02.2009 to 20.07.2009