Mayor Turner, Partnership Lead Investment and Trade Mission to Japan
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Greater Houston Partnership embarked this week on an investment and trade mission to Japan to establish new avenues for cooperation in energy, innovation, advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and transportation/mobility.
During the week-long mission, Mayor Turner, Partnership CEO Bob Harvey, and delegates will meet with high-ranking government leaders and business executives in the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Chiba to promote Houston’s economic, governmental and cultural ties. The mayor also is scheduled to speak at the U.S.-Japan Council 2022 annual conference on the topic, "Leveraging Subnational Action to Solve Global Problems."
Day one of the official engagements included a briefing at the U.S. Embassy in Japan, followed by a meeting at JETRO. This nonprofit organization connects businesses with the resources they need to expand successfully to Japan.
Later in the week, the delegation will travel to Chiba to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the sister-city relationship between the City of Houston and the City of Chiba. Mayor Turner will join the mayor of Chiba to reaffirm the Sister City Agreement executed on October 24, 1972, and vow to continue working in unison for the mutual benefit of our cities and people.
"Houston’s Sister City relationship with Chiba City, established 50 years ago, is one example of the friendship that has contributed to our robust trade relationship," said Mayor Turner. "The relationship between the Port of Houston and ports in Japan are key to this trade growth, as is the more than 70 companies, including Daikin, Mitsubishi, and Toshiba, that continue to make major investments in our City."
In 2021, Houston-Japan trade surged to a decade-high of $12 billion, according to the GHP. The increase in total trade can be attributed to the rise in the import value of industrial equipment, computers, electrical machinery, and parts, and motor vehicles and parts, as well as an increase in the export value of fuels and refined products, plastics, and plastic products, and organic chemicals.
"The Greater Houston Partnership is excited to partner with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on a trade and investment mission to Japan, the largest foreign investor into the United States and one of Houston’s top 10 global trade partners. Trade between our regions has more than doubled over the past decade, and Houston is home to an impressive set of Japanese firms,» said Partnership President and CEO Bob Harvey. «International missions are an important part of our effort to strengthen Houston’s ties with our partners around the world and we’re looking forward to the discussions that will take place in Japan."
Houston – Japan Business Facts:
Thirteen Houston firms operate twenty-seven subsidiary locations in Japan, including Chevron, Halliburton, American Bureau of Shipping, and BMC Software.
Seventy-one Japanese firms operate 242 subsidiaries in the Houston area, including JETRO, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and Mitsui & Co.
Of Houston’s 16 foreign-owned banks, three are from Japan: Mizuho Bank, MUFG Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.
Trade and cultural relationships with Japan are facilitated in Houston through the Consulate General of Japan, the Japan Business Association, and the Japan-America Society of Houston (JASH).
"Japan is Houston’s fourth largest Asian trading partner. Over the next several days, I will focus on encouraging Japanese companies to increase their business in the City of Houston. We have the workforce and infrastructure and can offer a stable and reliable partnership," said Mayor Turner. Other engagements during the investment and trade mission will include a briefing and ride on the Japanese bullet train in coordination with Texas Central Rail and Japan Central Railway.
The night before returning home on Oct. 30, the delegation will attend the Houston Ballet’s first-ever performance of Stanton Welch’s Swan Lake.in Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, Japan.
Learn more about Houston's international business ties.