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Japanese engineering experts widens its reach in Latin America

Aug 04, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

Having marked four decades of successful operations in Latin America and the Caribbean, Japan’s largest engineering consulting firm, Nippon Koei has once again set another milestone. The company recently assumed the role of project manager of Panama’s long-awaited Metro Line 3 project, which will use Japanese monorail technology in connecting Panama City to its western suburb.

Nippon Koei Latin America-Caribbean has taken charge of designing, subcontracting and supervising the construction of the landmark project, which will connect the capital Panama City with its western suburb. The monorail, the first of its kind in Latin America, is seen as the model to follow by the rest of the region.

“We would like to participate actively in railway sector projects in other Latin American countries. Nippon Koei has executed similar projects in other regions, particularly in

Through the Juan Diaz Wastewater Treatment Plant, Nippon Koei LAC helped Panama City, one of the world’s fastest-growing cities, meet its infrastructure needs.

Asia, and our experience on the Panama Metro Line 3 project should be a good start to expand in the Latin America region,” said Nippon Koei LAC President Makoto Nakao.

With Latin America accounting for 18 percent of total international sales of the Nippon Koei Group as of the last fiscal year, the Japanese consultancy is steadily strengthening its position in the region, as demonstrated by its performance in Panama.

“We expect to actively expand our business in each country in the region. There is huge demand for infrastructure in those countries that show relatively good macroeconomic performance such as Peru and Colombia. Those countries have many opportunities for us to contribute,” Nakao said.

In Panama, Nippon Koei has been also involved in key projects. With the completion of the initial phase of the Juan Diaz Wastewater Treatment Plant, Nippon Koei LAC immediately started work on the second phase in May 2015.

Aside from its work in the water and sanitation sector, which the group has strongly promoted, Nippon Koei LAC is also further increasing its participation in the railway and geothermal sectors, having secured a contract to develop a geothermal plant in Bolivia. 

Meanwhile, the sharp increase in the number of public-private partnerships for infrastructure in Latin America has caught the group’s interest. “In addition to infrastructure projects financed by public funds, there is a trend in which the private sector also takes a leading role in infrastructure development. We are working on several of these projects in both Central and South America, and we want to continue to expand our participation in such private sector projects,” Nakao said.

Yamaha Music grooves to Latin America’s beat

Aug 03, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

“Let’s all enjoy music. That’s how we contribute to society,” said Yamaha Music Latin America President Tomohiro Akiyama in Panama City.

“Latin America has a very good awareness of dance and music. At a very young age, people here learn to dance. And music comes with that. Music education is key to market acceptance,” Akiyama added.

Starting with pianos and organs more than a century ago, Japan-based Yamaha has crafted musical instruments, which are played by renowned musicians around the world.

In Latin America, the company focuses on music education and promotion, in addition to sales and marketing of musical instruments.

To date, more than 4,000 students have learned and enjoyed Yamaha music courses in 10 countries in the region. Also, the company promotes youth bands and orchestras to fight against delinquency in the region.

As Yamaha Music recently celebrated its 40th year in Latin America, the company has seen its fair share of ups and downs.

“In spite of economic volatilities in the region, continuing our service is Yamaha’s commitment. Growth in the long run is inevitable,” Akiyama said.

With a stable economy in Central America and the Caribbean, coupled with the growing young population in South America, Yamaha Music is stepping up efforts to expand its sales and distribution with unique activities of long-term music playing expansion.

Japanese bearing manufacturer bets on Panama

Aug 03, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

As foreign manufacturers troop to fast-growing Panama to set up the headquarters for their Latin American operations, NTN Sudamericana has been enjoying early adapter benefits. One of the largest makers of bearing products, the Japanese company has been in the country for 41 years, taking advantage of its strategic geographical location, stable currency and superior logistical infrastructure.

“You can go on the Pacific and Caribbean side, depending on where the demand is within Latin America. Geographically, Panama has a wonderful strategic location to act as a logistical base,” NTN Sudamericana President Kensaku Hata pointed out.

In conjunction with the “NTN100” initiative to expand the aftermarket business, the company is further strengthening its presence in Latin America, as seen in the construction of a regional distribution center, which will act as a key piece in delivering NTN’s wide range of automotive and industrial bearings to customers in the region’s major markets.

Quick response time — starting with the receipt of orders through the delivery of the product — is vital to the success in the aftermarket business. So, NTN plans to improve its

product availability with a new regional distribution center in Panama.

And with the expansion of the Panama Canal, NTN will also improve its logistics to and from Panama and, consequently, improve its customer satisfaction.

To further improve its business and customer service across Latin America, NTN has also invested in the technical training of its sales and engineering force in Panama and deployed satellite engineers to key markets outside the country.

“We are committed to becoming the premium and preferred bearing brand in Latin American and will continually strive to improve on our service level, and on the delivery of world class NTN technologies and solutions to our customers across Latin America,” said Hata.

Panama 2016 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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