WA businesses and the wider WA community have unique opportunities to take advantage of Western Australia’s nearly 30-year Sister State relationship with Hyogo Prefecture. Hyogo Prefecture and its main city of Kobe are the port of entry to the Kansai region, which accounts for 3 per cent of the world’s GDP.
The central location of the prefectural capital Kobe has made it an international gateway to Japan for over 130 years, and endowed it with a cosmopolitan history. With a population of over 23 million, the region offers many opportunities to leverage our special position.
Expanding business relations in Hyogo Prefecture
The Sister State relationship initially focused on cultural and friendship activities, but a new Memorandum of Understanding signed on the 20th anniversary of the relationship in 2001, introduced a mutual commitment to leverage the relationship to develop economic ties, with a particular focus on assisting Western Australian Small to Medium Business Enterprises overcome hurdles to export their goods and services to Japan in the following areas:
• Aged care and health care services
• Business facilitation, enabling small and medium enterprises to access business and investment opportunities
• Environmental management
• Information and communication technology
• Science and technology collaboration
An active presence in Kobe
To facilitate all aspects of the Sister State relationship we have an office in Kobe, and the Hyogo Prefecture government has an office in Perth. Our Kobe office manages all aspects of the relationship, including exchange and promotional activities, seminars and publications.