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True southern hospitality in Conyers Rockdale

Feb 22, 2019
Credit : GMI Post


Located less than half an hour drive from downtown Atlanta, Conyers is a small city that has benefited from its proximity to the state capital, the third-fastest growing metropolitan area in the United States.

Conyers’ most popular attractions are the Georgia International Horse Park, Monastery of the Holy Spirit, the Veterans War Memorial and Big Haynes Creek Nature Center. But at its heart is Historic Olde Town Conyers, a unique shopping and dining center that showcases the city’s southern heritage.

The city’s diverse community and good quality of life have attracted many domestic and foreign companies, including LioChem Inc., a subsidiary of Toyo Ink Manufacturing, which marked its 30th year of operations last year.

“We are very happy to reach this milestone with LioChem. They have been a great support to the local community and we are excited to continue our relationship with them,” said Conyers-Rockdale Economic Development Council (CREDC) Executive Director Marty Jones.

CREDC is determined to maintain good relations with its existing investors to ensure their continued growth.

“It’s important for us to make sure that those companies get the help that they need as they expand. We want to be good partners,” Jones stressed.

True to its Southern hospitality, Conyers welcomes more people to visit, whether be it for business or pleasure.

“We’re a diverse, dynamic, and distinct community. We welcome everyone to see what we have here,” Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Fred Boscarino said.

Griffin Spalding attracts more Japanese giants to industrial park

Feb 22, 2019
Credit : GMI Post


Since the conception of The Lakes at Green Valley, Georgia’s first and only “eco” industrial park, a decade ago, Griffin-Spalding Development Authority (GSDA) has solidified the county’s status as a preferred destination for Japanese investors.

“Prior to this, we were able to attract a couple of Japanese companies such as Sumika and Hoshizaki in our other parks. Our relationship with them early on made us realize the value of recruiting Japanese companies, and we have been targeting them as partners since then,” said GSDA Executive Director David Luckie.

The 570-acre mixed use development has attracted the likes of Otsuka Chemical, Toppan USA and Marukan. Last year, Rinnai opened its first U.S. manufacturing plant in the park, filling up six of the 11 designated industrial sites. With those latest developments, the investors at The Lakes at Green Valley are all Japanese.

Last year, Luckie, along with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, paid a courtesy call on Rinnai’s senior officers in Japan during a trip to attend the Southeast U.S.-Japan Conference.

He is planning more visits as a gesture of appreciation to the other GSDA’s Japanese partners and hopes to fill the rest of the unoccupied sites with Japanese investors.

“Building the relationships with our Japanese companies is very important to us. We want to be lifelong partners as they continue to grow in our community. We have built a community here that Japanese can call home,” said Luckie.

“Of course, this would not be possible without the support and confidence that existing investors have placed in us over the years along with the great assistance from the State of Georgia’s Department of Economic Development,” he added.

Michiki Morgan Worldwide: Bridging cultural gaps in business

Feb 22, 2019
Credit : GMI Post


In today’s global market, companies must be able to respond faster and more effectively to constantly changing conditions. And for companies with overseas operations, like Japanese firms in the United States or American companies in Japan, the need for rapid action causes another challenge.

Often, those companies find out that their management strategies and the company culture, while effective back home, have not produced the same level of success outside the country. While they continue to globalize and recognize the critical importance of localizing their organization and work culture, they lack the expertise internally to achieve successful results.

Michiki Morgan Worldwide CEO Nozomi Morgan

“Many companies underestimate the challenge of working across different cultures and motivating people. These things do not organically happen. Leaders need to be strategic and intentional,” said Michiki Morgan Worldwide CEO Nozomi Morgan, whose firm works with executives to communicate more effectively with local employees to reduce friction caused by cultural differences.

“Companies are people. If those people can’t collaborate and work effectively with each other, then your ability to grow as a company is limited,” Morgan said.

Michiki Morgan Worldwide has built an impressive portfolio of industry–leading clients.

“The market is unforgiving today. When your company operates in multiple countries with a diverse workforce and customers, the ability to work seamlessly is no longer an option. If you don’t respond quickly and efficiently, you’ll be left behind,” said Morgan, who regularly travels between Japan and the United States to provide strategic consulting to the heads of multinational companies.

Make yourself comfortable: Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US

Feb 22, 2019
Credit : GMI Post


A joint venture between Ingersoll Rand and Mitsubishi Electric US, Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US LLC (METUS) was formed in 2018. Less than a year old, the company has claimed a strong position in the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) sector in the United States and Latin America.

Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC President and CEO Atsuhiro Yabu

“The joint venture was formed in order to continue our momentum in the vibrant US HVAC market. Our goal is to provide the best possible personal comfort for our customers. We want to improve people’s living and working conditions through our products,” METUS President and CEO Atsuhiro Yabu said.

METUS expects the market to increase significantly in the next decade because of growing interest in the high-performance systems needed for zero energy infrastructure.

“In order to increase the comfort standards of people nationwide, we need to continue our positive impact in our own homes and buildings. Mitsubishi Electric aims to become a global, green company that enriches society with technology,” Yabu said.

METUS also believes in being active citizens of the local community. It regularly supports various charitable causes in the Suwanee region, one of them being the annual Mitsubishi Electric Classic, a golf tournament on the PGA Tour Champions that selects a number of beneficiaries of cash donations.

Newton County: Georgia's magnet for Japanese investment

Feb 22, 2019
Credit : GMI Post


With a working population of 2.2 million located just 40 minutes outside of metro Atlanta, Newton County has attracted big name companies, both local and foreign, such as Facebook, General Mills, Becton Dickinson, and Michelin.

The largest Japanese investors, particularly Bridgestone Golf, Nisshinbo Automotive Manufacturing and Takeda, are predicted to provide a total of 2,000 jobs by the end of 2019.

Established in 1992, Bridgestone Golf was the first Japanese company to locate to Newton County. Ever since it moved its operations from Japan to Covington in 2014, the maker of premium golf balls has become a significant contributor to Bridgestone’s global operations.

Meanwhile, Nisshinbo Automotive Manufacturing marked its 20th year in the area last year with the announcement that it will spend $72 million to expand its Covington plant. Takeda, the newest arrival, made the move to Newton following the $59 billion takeover of Shire Pharmaceuticals, the largest foreign buyout by a Japanese company.

With those recent developments, Covington Newton Office of Economic Development’s Vice President David Bernd has promised to lend more support to those investors: “Newton County is honored to have the presence of such great Japanese companies in our community. We are dedicated to being their partners as they continue to grow.”

The growth prospects of Nidec Elesys Americas Corp.

Feb 22, 2019
Credit : GMI Post


With a global network of more than 300 companies in 43 countries, Nidec Group designs and manufactures a comprehensive range of motors — from small ones found in computers to large ones used in manufacturing equipment.

Nidec Elesys America's headquarters in Suwanee, Georgia

Within the group, Nidec Elesys develops, manufactures and sells automotive safety systems, such as electronic control units (ECU) for electric power steering and vehicle stability assist systems, as well as pioneering technologies, like advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) for Honda and other OEMs.

Its American subsidiary, Nidec Elesys Americas Corp., has made huge strides in producing for the North American automotive market, winning several awards for excellence in quality and delivery along the way.

“Believing that we can contribute to society by creating safer, more comfortable mobility, we strive to exceed all customer expectations and ensure that we are providing the best products possible,” Nidec Elesys Americas Corp. President Toshihiko Kono said.

As technology in the automobile industry grows more advanced and market demands grow stricter, the company has increased investment in research and development. It believes that innovative products for the electrification of vehicles and autonomous vehicles will result in loyal customers and business expansion.

Aiming to be the world’s best in “everything that spins and moves,” Nidec Group is confident it can design next-generation drive technologies that will meet the ever-evolving demands of the modern world.

Joining cultures for global growth

Feb 22, 2019
Credit : GMI Post


“We may be at opposite sides of the world and be of different cultures, but both companies share very similar beliefs and goals. The four years that we’ve been a part of the Morito Group have been very prosperous because of this. We look forward to continuing our growth with them in the many years to come,” Stoudt said.

Scovill Fasteners CEO Craig Stoudt

With a history of more than 200 years, U.S.-based Scovill Fasteners, located in Georgia, has earned a reputation as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of high-performing apparel and light industrial fasteners.

With teams located across the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe, the company is known for customer partnership, service and expertise from fastener design and delivery to application.

Acquired by Japanese-owned Morito Co., Ltd. in 2014, Scovill Fasteners is well positioned to serve a wider range of customers, many of them in the fashion apparel, industrial fabrics and medical industries.

“Together, we are a more diverse and efficient supplier for our customers. We bring value to both ends of the spectrum in an integrated state, as opposed to being separate entities,” Scovill Fasteners CEO Craig Stoudt said.

With its strong foothold in the U.S. market, Scovill Fasteners is an important component for the Morito Group’s global growth. Its new business structure, which aligns to both American and Japanese cultures, allows the two companies to focus on a long-term product strategy.

Southeastern USA 2019 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

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