Association for Foreign Investment (AFI) organized Business Workshop: Japan in support of Czech Japanese economic relations

Business Workshop: Japan

Thursday, November 24 2022

1 - 4 p.m.


The workshop supported the development of Czech-Japanese economic relations. It was intended especially for investors and exporters to Japan. 

The Association for Foreign Investment - AFI together with the ICC Czech Republic and JETRO Prague organized a Business Workshop: Japan for companies and investors interested in Japan as a destination, whether in the form of investment or export. The aim of this workshop was primarily to promote Czech-Japanese economic relations and exchange experience and advice on doing business in Japan. The event was moderated by Ondřej Votruba, Executive Director of the Association for Foreign Investment - AFI, who has many years of experience with the Japanese market, culture, and business activities in Japan.

The meeting was opened with an introductory speech by Hideo Suzuki, Ambassador of Japan to the Czech Republic, and Martin Tomčo, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Japan, who spoke about the mutual relations between Japan and the Czech Republic and the importance of cooperation, not only in the commercial field, but also about mutual respect for history and cultural values.

This was followed by Kamil Blažek, Chairman of the Association for Foreign Investment - AFI, Karel Machotka, Executive Director of ICC Czech Republic,and Go Shimuta, Executive Director of JETRO, who presented their organizations, their contribution to companies in the field of trade, investment, and international relations, and, above all, offered the participating company representatives at the workshop the opportunity to consult them on their business plans in Japan.

The next part belonged to practical case studies, in which the speakers presented their real experiences with exporting or investing in Japan. The first speaker was Jindřich Houžvička, CEO of Crytur, which manufactures sophisticated detectors for electron microscopes, crystal optics and other integrated crystal-based solutions. Jindřich Houžvička described the company's business strategy in relation to the market and its expansion into Japan and how it operates in that country. He recommended the local representation, which is a great help in negotiations, or the fact that in Japan they use local suppliers for production, and, above all, they respect the local culture in everything. The second case study that attendees had the opportunity to hear was presented by Billy Day, Vice President of Sales and Customer Acquisition at Gen (formerly AVAST), who explained the step-by-step process of successfully expanding into Japan through direct investment. He also talked about the initial local market analysis, which was followed by the company's real steps to establish itself in Japan.

Finally, Ondřej Soška, General Commissioner of EXPO 2025 in Osaka on behalf of the Czech Republic, described the EXPO plans, the approach and vision of the Czech Republic at EXPO and the possibilities of presenting Czech companies in Osaka.

We would like to thank all speakers for sharing their experiences and for the insightful advice they gave to the workshop participants at the final networking session.

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