World Tradewinds


November-December 2001 - Issue N. 110
A Publication of the Monterey Bay International Trade Association (MBITA),
a BAYTRADE partner


MBITA CORPORATE SPONSORS:

Toma International

Equity Now

Grunsky

Victory

Lexus

Language Line

Greyzone



MBITA's UPDATE

MBITA continues its growth by expanding its domestic and international network of trade promotion services to the Central Coast of California.

The Central Coast International Trade Association (CCITA) was launched on October under the MBITA umbrella of international trade promotion services. CCITA will serve the San Luis and Santa Barbara counties.

MBITA also is on the ground floor of new laws recently established by the Bush Administration to develop agricultural trade with Cuba. A special conference in Cancún, Mexico in January of 2002 will discuss the details of how our Agricultural constituency can participate in this historical event.

Please see MBITA Global eCommerce 2001 virtual eLearning courses on MBITA web site.

Robert "Tony" Livoti
Executive Director
tlivoti@mbita.org

MBITA PARTNERS & AFFILIATES:

CCITA

UPCOMMING EVENTS:

Thu, November 15
Think global and act local with possibilities of global trade
Luncheon

The Crocodile Restaurant,
2819 State St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Time: 11:30am registration
noon lunch to 2:00pm
Admission fee: $25.00

Thu, December 6
Global Trade after '911'
Panel & Conference

SBA*Cisco Systems*San Jose Entrepreneur Center
84 W. Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113

8:30am to 9:00am: registration
9:00am to 11:30am: panel and conference

For more information on MBITA events please visit the MBITA "Events" web page or contact the MBITA office.

MBITA BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

President
John Griffin
Smith Barney

Vice President
Shay Adams
Slautterback, Inc.

Members:
Dr. Edward Valeau
Hartnell College
Salinas

Jeffrey J. Munks
San Francisco State University (SFSU)

Victor Cordell
Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS)
Marcelo Siero
Houses.com

Executive Director/Trade Manager
Tony Livoti
tlivoti@mbita.org

Membership/Event Manager
Cristina Polesel
cristina@mbita.org

725 Front St. Ste 104
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 U.S.A.
Phone: 1-831-469-0148
Fax: 1-831-469-0917
Email:info@mbita.org
Web:http://www.mbita.org

If you would like to have an article published on this newsletter please contact the editor by email.

This newsletter has been created by MBITA's editor
Cristina Polesel
cristina@mbita.org

Osaka, Japan: New Subsidies and Incentives Programs for Foreign Investment


The Osaka Castle

As part of a long-term region-to-region economic development program with the Osaka Prefecture of Japan, MBITA in association with the Osaka Prefectural Government office in San Francisco, CA and the Osaka Prefecture headquarters in Japan have recently announced new subsidies and incentive programs, promotional loans, and tax incentives for foreign qualified businesses that would like to set up operations in the Osaka Prefecture of Japan.

Given the long-standing depression of the Japanese economy, Ms. Fusae Ohta, Japan's first female governor, has recently introduced her Osaka Industry Revitalization Program. According to the governor at a recent presentation to New York business leaders, "Osaka's four main goals are: developing start-up of business; encouraging existing SMEs to venture into new areas by exercising managerial innovation; searching for new fields where new business ventures can start up and creating an attractive metropolis to attract competitive businesses from outside to operate within this region."

Osaka and its surrounding Kansai area play a major role in the Japanese economy. A rich store of knowledge rooted in a long history of commerce and tradition combined with a wealth of unsurpassed technology creates a powerful base for Osaka's vibrant and active economy. The economic potential to entice foreign investors is represented by Osaka's strategic location is Asia, as well as by its manufacturing strength and its growing market size. Osaka's GRP in fiscal year 1998 (ending March 1999) amounted to $367 billion putting it on par with that of Switzerland or the Netherlands. At the same time, the surrounding eight prefectures making up the Kansai region has a population of over 23 million and generated a gross regional product exceeding $685 billion or 18% of Japan's total GDP.

If your international strategy calls for expanding your presence in the Pacific Rim, Osaka can provide an excellent hub for your Asia operations. Osaka offers many advantages such as land prices, rents, housing, labor and general living expenses much less than those of Tokyo. Osaka is a manufacturing center for electrical appliances, machinery, chemicals, textiles and pharmaceuticals. Osaka also has a business-friendly orientation and is home to tens of thousands of companies. "Osaka is the region which has been creating many new things. Leading international companies such as Panasonic, Sharp, Sanyo, Takeda and Itochu etc. all came from Osaka," governor Ohta remarks.

Mr. Shigeo "Shawn" Hara is director of the California office and he believes that there has never been a better time to invest in Osaka given the current economic conditions in Japan along with the governor's aggressive program to revitalize the Osaka economy. Osaka is now offering premier sites that are currently seeking foreign direct investment. Facilities range from temporary office space to industrial sites. Shawn mentions that the price of land for purchase in Osaka has been dropping and now we are even beginning to see some leasing opportunities develop.

The Osaka Prefectural Government is placing particular emphasis on attracting industries in the areas of IT, biotechnology, environment, and health and welfare. At her presentation in New York, Governor Ohta stressed Osaka's work to build infrastructure that will be able to contribute to nurture industries or businesses in those areas.

The governor also stressed the tax reduction plan enforced to implement foreign investment for entrepreneurial businesses. "As far as the tax incentives for start-up companies are concerned, it will be applied to new companies established in the three year period from April 1 this year for up to a three to five year period at the maximum. Those businesses will be able to enjoy the reduction of their Osaka Prefectural Corporate Business Tax by up to 90%" She points out "In essence, it will bring the effective corporate tax rate of 40% down to 35%. Other tax incentives to encourage the new facility establishment of specific industries into specific areas would involve a reduction of up to 50% of the applicable real estate acquisition tax."

Areas of interest for foreign investment in Osaka Prefecture are Rinku Town, Rinku Business Center, Technostage Izumi and Tsuda Science Hills. Located just 5 minutes from the new Kansai International Airport (KIX), Rinku Town is a dynamic new development area devoted to serving the needs of the international business community. Rinku town is zoned for manufacturing, office, commercial and retail operations.

The Rinku Business Center is a new venue for foreign startup businesses. The 16th floor of the Rinku Gate Tower Building has been made available to provide overseas companies with an even easier new start on the Japanese market. The latest incentives have reduced monthly rent by 75% the first year and 50% for the 2nd and 3rd years.

Technostage Izumi is an industrial park established for advanced technology manufacturing operations and is located midway between KIX and downtown Osaka. Tsuda Science Hills is a research and development park within Kansai Science City, a regional collaborative between Kyoto, Osaka and Nara prefectures.

Osaka also offers business exchange and promotion programs. Every October the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosts two key business events, the Global Business Opportunities Convention (G-BOC) and Global Venture Forum (GVF), offering business people in Japan and around the world an unbeatable opportunity to meet and exchange views. G-BOC is an international business forum focusing on trade and investment, while GVF focuses on venture business. Specifically, GVF covers the four leading international sectors of Information and Communications Technologies; Biotechnology, Medical and Health Care; Environment and Energy; and Advanced Materials. Both G-BOC and GVF are unique in that they offer pre-arranged business talks with potential Japanese partners based on your business needs.

The Osaka Prefectural Government, California Office was established in 1997 to promote trade and investment for the Osaka region. Focusing on California, sister-state since 1994, and serving North America, the office functions as an Osaka information and resource center. The Osaka office also assists with the coordination of educational and cultural exchange programs between Osaka and California. The Osaka Office welcomes your inquiries; whether you need information about travel, business opportunities or any other issue concerning Osaka.

"I know Japan as a whole is making headway towards structural reform and Osaka is no exception to this trend. I feel that Osaka should take the lead in guiding this structural reform. For that purpose we need assistance from foreign businesses," governor Ohta concludes.

For details on the Incentives Program for Investing in Osaka please contact the San Francisco Osaka Prefectural Government office,and ask for Shawn Hara for further details or contact the MBITA office at 831-469-0148.

San Francisco Osaka Prefectural Government office
Shigeo "Shawn" Hara, Director
345 California Street, Suite 2575
San Francisco, CA 94104
Tel. 415-288-3920 Fax. 415-288-3924
email: osakapref@sfo.com
web: http://www.osakafu.org/

The Birth of the Central Coast International Trade Association (CCITA)

After a few months of planning and inviting, the Central Coast International Trade Association (CCITA) was launched with its first luncheon meeting on October 18th in San Luis Obispo, CA.

A total of 32 people attended the meeting at Benvenuti's Italian Restaurant for a luncheon meeting. Attendees included banks, lending institutions, economic development groups, business leaders, representatives from both Cuesta Community College and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Business Schools.

Paul Tambakis of USA Trade spoke briefly of governmental participation and partnership with exporters. Tony Livoti of MBITA spoke on the opportunities for an international trade association such as CCITA, given his experiences and vision for MBITA. Phil Cisneros took the opportunity to invite the attendees to get in at the foundation building of CCITA and participate by way of membership or sponsorship and participating in future CCITA events. He also spoke to the value of CCITA as being a relationship-builder, not only for the attendees in the room, but for future members and business leaders around the world. Everyone agreed that the meeting was highly needed and an opportunity for all businesses in the Central Coast (from Santa Barbara to Paso Robles) to benefit from such an organization.

CCITA will be developed under the direction of Phil Cisneros in partnership with MBITA. The plan is for CCITA to build its membership and sponsorship and become its own entity by mid 2002. The first of its programs for the Cetral Coast is slated to begin in January of 2002.

The next launching event will be held on November 15th in Santa Barbara at the Crocodile Restaurant, 2819 State St., Santa Barbara, CA 93105. Registration and networking will begin at 11:30 am. The program will begin at 12 noon and end by 2:00pm.

Cost is $25 for the luncheon and program. Please call Phil Cisneros at 805-541-3451 or the MBITA office at 831- 469-0148 for reservations.

Central Coast International Trade Association (CCITA)
Phil Cisneros, President
1345 Broad Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Tel: 805-541-3451 Fax: 805-541-6981
Email: philcisneros@charter.net

Online Learning 2001


In October, World TradeWinds had the opportunity to attend the annual Online Learning 2001 in Los Angeles. Every established eLearning company in the country was present demonstrating their particular solution to online academic or corporate training. World TradeWinds' interest in attending this eLearning conference was finding out the best solutions to advance MBITA's virtual Global eCommerce courses that are currently online.

World TradeWinds discovered that the eLearning industry was rapidly growing in the wake of September 11th for obvious reasons, i.e., alternatives to travel and solutions for more cost-effective methods in academic and corporate training. In addition to the big players such as Yahoo and IBM, it was impressive to see how the eLearning industry has grown with so many new companies presenting their own brand and technology for eLearning. It was obvious to us that the eLeanring industry, still in its infancy, is going to be a huge growth industry in the next few years.

The high point of the conference was a speech by former President Clinton given to over 2000 attendees. With the September 11th tragedy looming in the message of his speech, he emphasized the importance of eLearning and how America can use their technological advantage to spread knowledge, peace and prosperity throughout the world.

He also spoke about the negative and positive interdependence of our global economy in the midst of the information revolution. "Negative interdependence is terrorism and the very use of the new information technologies in spreading their terrorism. Positive interdependence is using the new information technologies to bring the world closer together to spread the wealth of global knowledge to the oppressed and poor in our world. The more people in other countries realize that we want them to succeed in their lives, the less chance future Bin Laden will emerge as threats to our free society," stated President Clinton.

Friday, August 24, 2001

Farr: District could impact global economy Central Coast's Diversity heralded as major commodity in world trade relations


( L-R ): Phil Cisneros of CCITA, Mark Weaver of the Monterey EAC (USDOC), Congressman Sam Farr, Tony Livoti of MBITA.

MBITA would like to express a formal "thank you" note to Congressman Sam Farr for his participation to the MBITA luncheon in Castroville last August 24th. The Central Coast's diversity of languages and cultures can be a resource to propel local businesses into a global market. We have a link to ... any country in the world. Expand that to California, and there's no one who can compete with us", Rep. Sam Farr declared.at the luncheon.

AMERICAN AGRICULTURE CAN NOW TRADE WITH CUBA

The Monterey Bay International Trade Association (MBITA), a non-profit public/private partnership dedicated to promoting small to mid-sized businesses in the global marketplace is leading the California Agricultural industry to participate in a historical business conference on agricultural trade with Cuba that will be held on Jan 30-Feb 2, 2002 at the Meliá Cancún Convention Center Beach & Spa Resort in Cancún, Mexico.

In July of this year, the U.S. government announced new regulations that allow for the direct sale of certain agricultural and medical goods and services to CUBA by U.S. Companies.

Juices, waters, soft drinks, bulk grains, meats, dairy foods, alcoholic drinks, wood and lumber are covered under these new regulations.

Leaders from the U.S. and Cuban Governments and Cuba's largest food importer, ALIMPORT, will cover topics such as Licensing, Third-party loans, Payment to U.S. Co's, Travel to Cuba, Transportation, Warehousing and distribution, Customs clearances & Health inspections.

Cuban officials are expected to make themselves available for one-on-one meetings with conference delegates to discuss direct sales opportunities.

Contact the MBITA office now at 831-469-0148 or email tlivoti@mbita.org for SPECIAL MBITA DISCOUNTS on REGISTRATION FEES, EXHIBIT SPACE and SPONSORSHIP opportunities for this historical conference.