Foreign trade promotion is a well-acknowledged part of economic policy of almost all industrialized countries. Its objective is to help private, in particular small- and medium-sized companies, which suffer from a lack of information, motivation, and financial and personnel resources, in exporting to foreign countries. Governments typically provide fiscal incentives, consultation and information as well as assistance to trade fairs and exhibitions abroad.
Germany's policy also follows this approach. In Japan, it is represented with a full-fledged foreign economic promotion system. This includes the German Embassy in Tokyo, the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan, the Federal Office for Foreign Trade Information and several representative offices of the German Bundesländer as its main players.
However, critics of this system complain about a lack of coordination and an insufficiency to address the needs of private companies. This presentation addresses the case of German foreign economic promotion in Japan from the perspective of institutional economics. It will be analyzed whether the problems perceived by various critics are those of individual actors or whether they are immanent to the system itself.
Norbert SCHULTES is Deputy Executive Director of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan. He graduated in economics and political science from Cologne University, Germany, and received a Masters degree in public administration from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. After graduation, he joined the German civil service. He is now in Japan on secondment from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
At the meeting, he will not represent the official position of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan, but will express his private views.