Govt to boost support for online cross-border sales

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry will boost support for companies trying to sell products abroad by opening more Japan Mall special sites on major foreign e-commerce websites, officials have said.

The support program was launched in some economies including Singapore on a trial basis in fiscal 2018 in cooperation with the government-held Japan External Trade Organization, or JETRO.

Under the program, trading firms buy products, such as food and cosmetics, from Japanese companies for sale via Japan Mall. The system helps reduce risks for small firms to have stocks in foreign countries.

So far, a total of 40 small companies have sold some 200 items, including chocolate. “We had a good response,” a senior ministry official said.

Starting from fiscal 2019, which began in April, the ministry plans to expand the Japan Mall sites to major online shopping sites in 18 countries, including China, the United States and Germany.

In China, the world’s largest e-commerce market, the ministry will team up with companies including industry behemoth Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

JETRO will support the procurement of Japanese products local Chinese e-commerce websites hope to sell, such as daily goods and cosmetics.

In the United States, the second largest e-commerce market, the ministry hopes to develop Japanese food product markets by opening a dedicated site on Rakuten USA, which is under the umbrella of Japanese cybermall operator Rakuten Inc.

The ministry also plans to support online sales of sake and other Japanese products in Germany and France, key members of the European Union, whose economic partnership agreement with Japan took effect in February.

JETRO will give advice to small firms on export procedures that have been simplified thanks to the EPA effectuation.

Also planned is support for online sales of Japanese products in member countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, including Chile and Vietnam.Speech

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