Commerce Secretary Pritzker Begins Business Development Mission to Japan and Seeks Opportunities for U.S. Companies in Health Care and Energy Sectors
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today began a five-day Business Development Mission to Japan and South Korea and met with Japanese leaders in Tokyo to address opportunities for U.S. companies to launch or increase their business in the health care and energy sectors. Due to a lack of natural resources, both Japan and South Korea have long been dependent on imported energy sources to meet their energy needs.
During her first day in Tokyo, Secretary Pritzker was joined by U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and the business delegation in several bilateral meetings with Japanese leaders. During her meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Secretary Pritzker commended him on his government’s commitment to reform throughout his two years in office, and noted that American businesses are eager to partner with Japan in the country's ongoing efforts to reform and strengthen its health care and energy sectors. She also praised Prime Minister Abe for his vision in entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, and she discussed the need for the U.S. and Japan to be creative and bold as the countries enter the final stages of the negotiations.
Following her meeting with the Prime Minister, Secretary Prtizker met with Japan’s Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Yasuhisa Shiozaki. During the meeting she addressed the importance of continued engagement on medical device and pharmaceutical issues, stressing the concerns the industry has with annual price revisions in the medical devices and pharmaceutical sectors. She also thanked the Minister for Japan’s cooperation on vaccine issues and stressed the need for continued cooperation on Ebola response efforts.
This mission marks Secretary Pritzker’s first trade mission to Asia since taking office in June 2013. Pritzker is leading a delegation of 20 U.S. companies including small companies with less than 100 employees interested in making in-roads in Japan and Korea for the first time, as well as large multi-national firms that are interested in tackling market access issues in the two countries.
As our fourth and sixth-largest trading partners respectively, Japan and South Korea present ample opportunities for U.S. businesses to sell their goods and services. In both countries, the governments and private sector are making significant investments in both health care and energy. Japan has a $153 billion market for medical and health products and South Korea’s total market for drugs and medical device products combined is roughly $21 billion. U.S. businesses are well-positioned to provide innovative health care solutions in both of these countries, where they are focusing efforts on improved treatments, health maintenance and better overall health.
Following Tokyo, the mission will conclude in Seoul, South Korea.