Consul-General of Japan Visits Cedar Rapids and Marion With Foreign Direct Investment Opportunities in Mind

Aug 14, 2019


Last month, the Counsul-General of Japan, Mr. Naoki Ito visited Cedar Rapids and Marion to meet with local businesses and tour areas of our community to build a business relationship with foreign direct investment opportunities in mind. Foreign direct investment occurs when an entity - either a person or a business - in one country makes an investment into a business in another country.

Mr. Ito started the Grassroots Caravan Initiative in cooperation with JETRO Chicago, a nonprofit organization that connects U.S. and Japanese businesses, with a goal to reach out to local areas where Japanese companies have invested to further promote direct investment and trade. The Caravan has completed 16 visits around the Midwest, but this was Mr. Ito’s first visit to Iowa with the Caravan.

Cedar Rapids’ bioprocessing and agriculture industry clusters and Kirkwood Community College’s programming for workforce efforts around manufacturing positions were especially interesting to the Caravan.

The Counsul-General began the day in Marion and toured Freund Vector, a Japanese-owned manufacturer and example of successful foreign direct investment between Japan and the U.S. The group then toured Kirkwood’s Industrial Tech Center.

As reported by The Gazette, Mr. Ito said Iowa currently has 70 Japanese business facilities providing a total 4,400 jobs, and that he hopes his visit will help further new business partnerships between the two parties in the future.

Building relationships with international contacts and organizations expands possibilities for businesses currently located in ICR and opens the door for new businesses to locate here in the future.

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