DCED Executive Deputy Secretary Neil Weaver led a team of economic development professionals on a business development mission to Japan. Joined by David Briel from the Office of International Business Development (OIBD), Team PA board member Pamela Shupp of the Greater Reading Economic Partnership, and Team PA’s Director of International Initiatives Lindsay Helsel, the five-day trip focused on investment retention and attraction efforts to build upon the ample business growth opportunities within Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania team arrived in Japan on May 30th and travelled to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Fujinomiya through June 4th, meeting with prospects, current investors, and foreign trade multipliers, overlapping with the Philadelphia Orchestra’s tour. Looking to replicate the success of the 2015 Europe trip with the orchestra, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) team coordinated meetings with business executives with nighttime concerts. The Philadelphia Orchestra generously donated tickets to the commonwealth for the FDI team to distribute to investors and prospects.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, another key partner on this trade mission, graciously hosted a reception for Japanese business executives and Philadelphia Orchestra leadership at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. The reception included a private concert, which received a significant amount of local media press coverage.

Over the next few months, Team PA and OIBD will follow-up with the connections made in Japan with the goal of generating business in Pennsylvania. For the time being, we would like to share some initial facts and figures to communicate the success of this trip:

  • 11 on-site meetings
  • 170 “Invest in PA” Seminar guests
  • 2 expansion projects to be announced in Summer 2016