Since 1997 Witan has been organising the “EU Gateway to Japan” Programme sponsored and funded by the European Commission.
The programme supports Small and Medium Sized companies in their effort to enter the Japanese market. The aim of the programme is to promote Europe's trade interest in Japan; maximise business opportunities for EU companies; providing comprehensive services, assistance and advice to EU companies; and increasing visibility and credibility by expanding target groups and by tailoring communication tools.
Till date, the targeted industry sectors have included:
- Food and Drink
- Environmental Technologies
- Information and Communication Technologies
- Construction Materials
- Interior Lifestyle
- European Fashion Design
- Outdoor Lifestyle
- Materials Handling Equipment
- Marine Equipment
- Packaging Machinery and Materials
Witan is in charge of organising and implementing a mission week, including: an educational briefing on business practices and market conditions in Japan, a study tour to industry-appropriate sites, technical seminar/mini-trade fair, reception, and de-briefing.
Further to these activities, Witan is also responsible for the marketing and PR support, such as the promotion of the campaign in Japan in the press and business world; attracting a sufficient number of Japanese visitors to the seminars and mini trade fairs (match-making).
The Gateway to Japan Campaign Program has been extremely successful in bringing large numbers of European companies to Japan to meet and do business with their Japanese counterparts.
During the 3rd campaign period: 2003-2006, close to 900 SME's participated in the programme; and Witan was able to attract over 3300 Japanese visitors to mini trade fairs and technical seminars.
Furthermore, Witan was able to get an average of 4 to 5 articles published per event, and attract over 150 journalists to the launch press conference.
The programme is well received both in Europe and in Japan. 95% of the participated companies are satisfied with the services provided.