Early results from Minister Jean-François Lisée’s mission to Japan

Tokyo, Japon, January 20, 2014 - The first day of the multisectoral mission to Japan headed by Minister Jean-François Lisée has already resulted in the announcement of the signing of three new partnership agreements between Québec and Japanese companies. The Minister is accompanied by a delegation of 35 representatives from Québec companies, organizations and educational institutions.

The announcements were made at a business luncheon where the Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade, who began a one-week mission to Japan on Monday, presented Québec’s economic development priorities to over one hundred Japanese business representatives.

“Our government is working hard to help Québec companies and research centres gain access to new export markets. These partnerships are testament to the innovative and creative flair and proven expertise of Québec companies in a number of fields,” noted the Minister.

Appreciation of Québec expertise

Québec company Acquisio, a world leader in media platform solutions for interactive media agencies, and Japanese company IREP announced that they are joining forces in a strategic partnership to create a joint venture that will support Acquisio’s growth initiative in Japan. This partnership will enable Acquisio and IREP to share their expertise and technology in order to provide a solution tailored to the Japanese market. This long-term contract represents a joint investment of $5 million and will lead to the creation of some forty jobs.

Québec company Toon Boom Animation, a world leader in animation technology and digital content, and Japanese firm HeARTBIT Digital Creation have signed an agreement regarding the distribution of Toon Boom’s Storyboard Pro et Harmony software on the Japanese market and their translation into Japanese for local consumers. Given the size of the Japanese animation market, this agreement will allow the new partners to stake out an enviable share of up to 10% of software in the first year.

In the energy field, Hydro-Québec’s Institut de recherche (IREQ) and Japanese group SEI Corporation have teamed up to commercialize a new Li-ion battery technology, including patents for each of the two organizations. The anticipated income from royalties in the medium term will be used to fund the R&D activities of the signatory partners.

The third largest economy in the world and Québec’s seventh largest export market, Japan offers attractive business opportunities as well as challenges in terms of language, culture and trade practices. In this regard, the Minister recalled the essential work carried out by the Québec Government Office in Tokyo that, for 40 years, has helped Québec companies expand into the Japanese market. The anniversary of Québec’s presence in Japan was marked at the end of the first day with a reception that attracted numerous Japanese dignitaries and influential figures.

“Québec is focused on the future: 22.6% of the manufactured goods it exports are related to the hi-tech field, compared to 11.5% for Canada as a whole. Our companies embrace innovation to increase their productivity and competitiveness. The Government of Québec supports the development of innovative products through the National Research and Innovation Policy and facilitates the commercialization and export of these products,” said the Minister.

The mission to Japan continues until Friday. Several meetings of a political or economic nature are planned.

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Source :
Caroline Julie Fortin
Press Attachée
Office of the Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade
514 616-8655

Information :
Direction des communications et des affaires publiques
Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie
418 649-2400

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