WORK­OUT Ja­pan needs a per­sonal touch

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Career One -

IF you are think­ing of trade links with Ja­pan, it is worth­while keep­ing an em­ployee there, says Austrade, the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment’s ex­port de­vel­op­ment agency. ‘‘ Hav­ing an em­ployee based in Ja­pan is a very ef­fec­tive way to in­crease your busi­ness’s ex­port suc­cess,’’ says Austrade’s se­nior trade com­mis­sioner Michael Clifton.

‘‘ Ja­pan is grap­pling with de­mo­graph­ics which will see the loss of 14 mil­lion pro­duc­tive work­ers by 2030 as the world’s largest pop­u­la­tion of baby boomers re­tires,’’ Clifton says. ‘‘ To deal with this prob­lem there is a much more press­ing need for busi­ness so­lu­tions which re­duce the de­mand for work­ers on the shop floor. Aus­tralian tech­nol­ogy and ser­vice providers are in an ideal po­si­tion to take ad­van­tage of in­creased op­por­tu­ni­ties,’’ he says.

Ja­pan re­quires a se­ri­ous com­mit­ment, says Paul Gal­lagher, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Aus­tralian-Ja­pan Busi­ness Cor­po­ra­tion Com­mit­tee.

‘‘ There are around 12,000 Aussies in Ja­pan at the mo­ment, but less than 100 busi­nesses have a full-time pres­ence. More could be achieved by bas­ing a staff mem­ber there. The Ja­panese busi­ness psy­che is such that if you have a per­son off­shore who’s a good op­er­a­tor, the lo­cal pres­ence rates well from not just a ser­vic­ing point of view, but the re­la­tion­ship build­ing per­spec­tive — for Ja­panese in par­tic­u­lar, the qual­ity of the re­la­tion­ship is im­por­tant,’’ Gal­lagher says.

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