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SPONSORED: 5 reasons why Yokohama brings exciting opportunities for Scottish businesses

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There are a number of international opportunities for new and established businesses in Scotland in the city of Yokohama in Japan. And that’s thanks to the Scottish Government and the City of Yokohama signing a joint declaration on collaborating in the areas of culture and tourism, marine industries, sports and education in 2018. A year on, we reveal five reasons why this innovative and creative city brings exciting opportunities for Scots businessmen and businesswomen looking to launch a new business there…

1. Scotland and Yokohama will “grow together” as collaborators

The city of Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture (just south of Tokyo) is one of 20 government ordinance cities in Japan. A large and pivotal city, Yokohama is designated by the cabinet of Japan and exercises its delegated functions in administration and finance. Yokohama plays an important role in the centre of politics, economy, and culture of Japan and has attracted worldwide attention – its venues have already staged international events including the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) and the Rugby World Cup 2019, and next year it is to host the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.


2. Yokohama is the innovative and creative city

In Minato Mirai 21 area in Yokohama (which is the central business district), corporate Research & Development bases are now rapidly assembling and attracting innovative and active engineers. In addition, many artists and creators are working and entrepreneurs are gathering in the neighbouring Kannai area. The city of Yokohama encourages creating an environment that develops many new businesses through the fusion of innovation and creativity.


3. Engineers are initiating tech events in Yokohama

For a notable event, engineers initiated the Yokohama Gadget Festival in October 2019 where companies of large to small size, startups, educational institutions, civic groups, and individuals interacted with each other under the slogan of Let’s make Yokohama exciting with innovations! From drones, robots, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, hardware to Virtual Reality (VR) (pictured above), apps, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), along with fields such as new materials, modeling, programming, city planning, sharing, mobility, childcare, education, sports, healthcare, aging, design, art and space science. More than 100 exhibitors were there and more than 6,000 people – from engineers and entrepreneurs to children – participated over four days and enjoyed the largest tech event ever.

4. Exchanging innovative human resource to create new businesses in Yokohama

The city of Yokohama established an advanced and attractive initiative in October 2019 that symbolizes “Innovation City Yokohama,” a hub for innovative human resource exchange called: YOXO BOX (Yokohama Cross Over and Sandbox). YOXO BOX is developed for mentoring and discussing growth support programs for entrepreneurs and startups, stationing startup support specialists to advise individuals, as well as holding business events for creating innovation. There will be new businesses created among startups and entrepreneurs working for innovation and economic growth from inside and outside Japan, along with startup supporters, local companies and managers.


5. Yokohama is ideal for a business hub in Japan and Asia

Being an international city and proud of its cultural diversity, Yokohama welcomes many multinational companies and overseas bases or branches. Thanks to its support for developing corporate locations, Yokohama is advantageous for multinational companies in preparing an environment, community and human resources suitable for creating innovation. Yokohama is located about 30 minutes away from the centre of Tokyo and easily accessible to the United Kingdom and other countries over the world as it is about 25 minutes from Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport), the largest airport in Japan.

If you are a Scottish company or Silicon Glen startup considering developing businesses in Japan or Asia, your first choice should be Yokohama.

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