The attractions of doing business in Osaka – from the perspective of Thames Valley (UK)


The attractions of doing business in Osaka – from the perspective of Thames Valley (UK)

The Thames Valley region of the UK is located west of London, close to Heathrow airport and includes the counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. The region is a major centre of business and commerce and has the second largest economy in the UK.

The Thames Valley has a very close relationship with Kansai. Exchange of information and delegations at a government-academia-industry level started in 2012, and following that a milestone came in 2014, when Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) and Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce (TVCC) signed an MOU for mutual collaboration. This regional business tie has also produced tangible benefits, including the creation of concrete business opportunities.

When TVCC signed an MOU with OCCI, two important reasons for establishing the link were that both regions have a similar industry mix and share strong aspirations to collaborate with overseas partners. However, there was another very important reason; the British sense of humour. It may not be well known in Japan but humour is an important part of the British culture. We can overcome difficulties when we can laugh at them together.

Asking trade mission delegations what the attraction of Osaka is, we often receive following feedback:

  • ・An amazing level of hospitality.
  • ・A fabulous variety of tasty and reasonably priced cuisine.
  • ・A strong industrial economy along with a thriving commercial sector. There are many shops and an active and open community.
  • ・People are friendly and open. They also give a candid feedback. This makes Osaka one of the easiest places in Japan for a foreign company to conduct business.

Japanese people may not regard hospitality and foods as business related matters, however, they are very important when UK companies decide where to locate their Japanese branch, as quality of life is very important for them.

The openness of people in Osaka is also precious. In the UK it is often perceived that the Japanese do not share their true feelings (particularly when they have negative feedback) so visitors are very surprised to hear candid feedback during business meetings in Osaka and do really appreciate it. This leads to their feeling that it is “easy to do business in Osaka”.

Mrs. Masako Eguchi-Bacon, the Representative of the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce and Industry Japan Desk, and President of Oceanbridge Management Ltd, told that “Kansai” is not very well known yet and “Osaka” is recognised more as a sightseeing spot.TVCC has continued to arrange various events and marketing materials to get the Kansai region and Osaka known as an important business destination. The friendly and open nature of the people of Osaka, the relatively reasonable cost of living could be a more substantial benefit to entrepreneurs who want to start a business from scratch.



このテムズバレー地域は、実は関西と密接な関係がある。2012年に近畿経済産業局などと共に産官学の交流が始まって以来、2014年には大阪商工会議所とテムズバレー商工会議所が MOU(業務提携覚書)に調印、経済交流使節団が定期的に派遣されるようにもなった。この関西―テムズバレー地域連携から具体的なビジネス機会も生まれるなど、目に見える効果も出てきている。


  • ・とびっきりのおもてなし
  • ・食べ物が美味しくて安い
  • ・町中に人が溢れ、強い経済力を感じる
  • ・オープンではっきりと意見を言ってくれる



テムズバレー商工会議所ジャパンデスク代表の江口・ベイコン昌子氏(Oceanbridge Management Ltd. 代表取締役社長)は、「英国では関西の知名度はまだまだ高いとは言えず、大阪も観光地として認知している人が多いのが現状だ。テムズバレー商工会議所ではこのような大阪や関西のビジネス面の魅力をより広く認知してもらえる仕組みを増やす活動を行っている。親しみやすくオープンな大阪人気質、比較的リーズナブルな生活コストや、多層的な産業集積があるといった大阪の特徴は、ゼロからビジネスをスタートしようとする起業家にとっても、より実質的なメリットとなりうることだろう。」と語った。