Unlocking Investment Opportunities: The Osaka Prefecture And EY Japan Partnership

Unlocking Investment Opportunities: The Osaka Prefecture And EY Japan Partnership

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By Hernaldo Turrillo

Consigned by the Osaka prefectural government, EY Japan facilitates the entry of foreign asset management and fintech companies in the Japanese markets with their support and guidance. Osaka, already ranked among the "World's Most Livable Cities 2022," is poised for further growth with the upcoming Expo 2025 scheduled to be held in the region.

Unlocking Investment Opportunities: Osaka Prefecture And EY Japan Partnership

EY Japan partners with the Osaka Prefecture to provide essential support and subsidies for overseas firms looking to make their mark in the Japanese market. This partnership seeks to bolster Osaka's reputation as a financial hub, offering financial incentives and non-financial support to encourage financial institutions to establish their presence in the city.

Located in the center of Japan, Osaka lies in the heart of the Kansai region, the second largest metropolitan area after Tokyo, with a population of 8.79 million and a regional GDP of JPY 41 trillion.

According to the national statistics, the pharmaceutical production sector in Osaka ranked as the 11th largest in Japan in 2021. Osaka has played a crucial role in shaping Japan's food culture and is often referred to as the "kitchen of the nation". In the Kansai region, renewable energy, particularly lithium battery exports, accounted for 70.1% share in 2019. The chemical industry in Osaka stood as the 6th largest in Japan in 2020 in terms of manufactured goods shipment.

Tourism has also been a major contributor, with foreign visitors to Osaka surging from 3.76 million in 2014 to 12.31 million in 2019, partly attributed to the presence of attractions like Universal Studios Japan. The electrical equipment sector in Osaka ranked as the 7th largest in Japan in 2020, featuring prominent companies like Panasonic Corporation and Sharp Corporation. The life science industry has also thrived, with key players including Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, ONO Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd., and Daicel Corporation making notable contributions to the region's economy.

Osaka and the Kansai region are actively striving to enhance their global visibility, competing with the city of Tokyo.

The Global Financial City Osaka Project

Kansai, known for its competitive market landscape featuring numerous regional financial institutions, takes a proactive approach to adopt new technologies and establish strategic alliances. This forward-thinking environment provides an advantageous platform for startups seeking to explore and leverage emerging business opportunities in the region.

Numerous financial institutions in Kansai are actively promoting Fintech advancements through technologies like Web3 and blockchain. This includes initiatives such as establishing digital securities exchanges based on blockchain technology in the Osaka/Kobe area and the development of innovative banking systems utilizing blockchain, inspired by Bitcoin's technology. These efforts are contributing to the modernization and growth of the financial sector, fostering a dynamic economic landscape in the region.

The Global Financial City Osaka Project encompasses a significant urban revitalization effort centered around Osaka Station, a pivotal transportation hub in western Japan. The main aim of the project is to prepare this area for the upcoming year 2027 by promoting extensive redevelopment initiatives. Plans include the construction of modern office spaces, condominiums, and accommodations to transform the vicinity into a thriving hub of both "green" sustainability and "innovation."

The project aims not only to elevate the city's infrastructure but also to position Osaka as a leading global financial and innovation center, marking a significant step towards the city's economic and urban development goals.

Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan: An opportunity for the growth of Japan’s innovative ecosystem

The 2025 World Exposition in Japan, hosted in Osaka, is a significant event aimed at showcasing the scientific and cultural achievements of humankind while envisioning the future. Partnering with EY Japan, Osaka is actively leveraging the Expo as an opportunity to attract foreign companies from various countries and regions.

The city has initiated numerous demonstration projects to co-create innovative technologies and innovations, fostering investment opportunities and promoting urban development. To encourage foreign companies to settle in Osaka, the city is considering tax incentives and other measures.

The theme of the Expo, "Designing Future Society for Our Lives," aligns with the concept of "People's Living Lab" and is expected to draw approximately 28 million visitors from 119 countries/regions and seven international organizations.

The Osaka Healthcare Pavilion will feature cutting-edge exhibits related to health and near-future lifestyles, including the use of personal avatars based on health data and suggestions for future food and healthcare.

The Expo also aims to showcase the "cashless payment" based on blockchain technology at its venues, potentially offering prepaid cards for foreign visitors and a unique payment method known as the "EXPO 2025 Digital Wallet" service. These developments underscore the Expo's role in advancing technological innovation and fostering international collaboration, ultimately contributing to the economic and cultural growth of Osaka/Kansai.

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