Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Business Development Mission to Japan and South Korea

October 19-23, 2014



The United States Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will lead a Business Development Mission to Japan and South Korea from October 19-23, 2014. This mission is a follow-up to President Obama’s visit in April and will highlight the commercial aspects of the Asia Rebalance. This mission will promote U.S. exports to Japan and South Korea by helping U.S. companies launch or increase their business in the healthcare and energy sectors in each country. The mission will include business-to-government and business-to-business meetings, market briefings, and networking events.

In both countries, the governments and private sector are investing significant money in developing their healthcare sector. In South Korea, the total market for drugs and medical device products combined is roughly $21 billion. In Japan, the over $150 billion market for these products represents the silver lining of the dark cloud of Japan’s aging population. Due to the lack of natural resources, both Japan and South Korea have long been dependent on imported energy sources to meet over its energy needs. For U.S. energy firms, Japan has a compelling need to find new energy sources, optimize the mix of energy imports and increase efficiencies in response to the March 2011 natural disasters and nuclear emergency, which led to the shutdown of Japan’s 48 nuclear facilities. Additionally, both near and long term opportunities exist in the South Korean energy sector.

The delegation will be composed of senior executives from 20-25 U.S. firms, representing the mission’s target sectors. Representatives of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) will be invited to participate to provide information and counseling regarding their suite of programs and services on federal trade promotion and financing capabilities in Japan and South Korea. This collaborative interagency approach highlights the shared interest among U.S. Government agencies in promoting Japan and South Korea as critical overseas markets. This collaborative interagency approach highlights the “All of Government” approach to President Obama’s National Export Initiative.


Overview Healthcare Needs in Japan

Japan has a fast-aging population, with relatively prosperous seniors holding increasing expectations for improved quality of life in their later years. The Japanese health care system’s increasing emphasis on improved treatment and health maintenance is generating further opportunity for the innovative solutions at which U.S. industry excels. The Japanese market for medical drugs and devices is large and well-established; U.S. players control a share of one-fifth or more. The Japanese market for patented pharmaceuticals is the single largest one outside the United States, and projected to remain so for at least a decade. On top of this strong base and demand, Prime Minister Abe’s current economic growth strategy calls for promotion of the pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology industries. Sophisticated, new medical devices, regenerative medicine and Health IT are sub-sectors that are particularly suited to meeting Japan’s healthcare needs. In 2012, the size of the market for regenerative medicine and related businesses, including research equipment, was approximately $330 million. This market segment may grow to over $2.4 billion by 2020. Japan’s $6.3 billion healthcare IT market will grow with cost-effective ways to provide healthcare to an aging population with a shrinking workforce.

For U.S. drug and medical device manufacturers, the $150 billion Japanese market for these sectors represents the silver lining of the dark cloud of Japan’s aging population. A Japanese version of America’s NIH (with a budget over $500 million) was recently established, while a “special economic zone” was designated in western Japan to enhance medical services by using ICT to build an efficient medical platform. The mission is ideally timed to position some of the scores of U.S. regenerative medicine firms to benefit from innovation-conducive regulations due this November. These regulations are part of the implementation of the Regenerative Medicine Law which Japan passed in November 2013, as part of Japan’s bid to become the world’s clinical trial and market leader in this field.

Overview of Energy Needs in Japan

For U.S. energy firms, Japan has a compelling need to replace energy production and optimize the mix of energy imports in response to the March 2011 natural disasters and nuclear emergency, which led to shutdown of Japan’s 48 nuclear facilities. The mission will focus on U.S. firms in the energy sector, including renewables, energy storage and energy management, and smart grid and energy efficiency providers that will help meet energy demand and drive Japan’s implementation of entirely new systems under the electricity market liberalization now underway.

With its substantial reduction in nuclear power, Japan is greatly expanding the use of renewable and other alternative or “smart” energy sources. The Government of Japan (GOJ) introduced a very generous Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) in July 2012, boosting investment in renewables. The market for PV alone reached $13.5 billion in 2013. Even with FiT reductions in solar, the 2014 rate of $0.32 is still very attractive and a new FiT for offshore wind ($0.36), coupled with deregulation, will spur smart energy development for years. The GOJ aims at 214 terawatt hours from renewables by 2030, or 20% of electricity generated, doubling current renewable output. In addition to solar and wind, renewable energy subsectors presenting market opportunities include hydrogen production, storage and distribution, grid stabilization, energy efficiency and fuel cells. In particular, Japan is tying its fuel cell plans to the 2020 Olympics where the nation will showcase fuel cell vehicles for transportation and stationary fuel cells for power generation at Olympic and other venues around Tokyo.

At the same time, the Government of Japan is embarking upon robust liberalization of its $60 billion electrical power market, breaking up the nation’s regional electric power monopolies, giving new entrants access to the power grid, and introducing retail competition on a nationwide basis in 2016. The government plans for full liberalization by 2020. These moves are spurring demand for new technologies and solutions that will help current firms and new entrants more effectively compete in this new environment. Customized services that help utilities optimize power assets, reduce costs, and achieve energy efficiency gains will be in demand as a result. Firms providing energy management solutions at the transmission, distribution, and customer levels will find increasing opportunities in the Japanese market. In addition, new and existing coal-fired thermal power generation plants are expected to play a significant role in enabling Japan to meet its electricity demands, especially in the near term. U.S. producers of carbon reduction and emissions control technologies are well-positioned to help Japan rely on its planned broad energy mix in the most environmentally friendly way possible.

Overview Healthcare Needs in South Korea

South Korea has a National Health System and its Ministry of Health and Welfare is under pressure to minimize prices and to ensure patient access. With the growth in the elderly population, cancers, chronic diseases, and immune diseases are increasing, providing market opportunities for therapeutic drugs. In particular, there is a demand for oncology products, with estimated demand at approximately $600 million. An increase in patients with immune diseases is leading to demand for biopharmaceuticals for personalized medicines. South Korea’s total market for drugs and pharmaceuticals in 2014 is estimated at about US$16 billion. Multinational company (MNC) sales account for about 30-35% of the overall market. Currently, domestic South Korean firms concentrate on, and are strong in, the manufacturing of generics, rather than innovative drugs. However, South Korean pharmaceutical companies are open to innovation and have begun to develop technologies, including fixed dose combination (FDC) drugs with MNCs.

The total South Korean market for medical devices/equipment in 2014 is estimated at about US$ 4.8 billion. Total imports of medical devices were US$3.2 billion, with U.S. imports totaling over US$1.3 billion. The United States is the largest foreign device supplier to South Korea, accounting for about 40% of the import market. South Korea depends on high-end devices from the U.S., EU, and Japan to supply about 60% of total market demand. High-end medical devices, such as class 3 devices, have the higher potential in the market. According to statistics from the Korea Medical Device Industry Association (KMDIA), the top ten foreign medical devices in 2012, by volume, were stents, CT systems, MRI systems, knee implants, soft contact lenses, kidney dialysis devices, lenses for eye glasses, medical probes, catheters, and ultrasound imaging systems.

The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) entered into force in March, 2012. Prior to KORUS, tariff rates ranged from 0-8% for medical devices and were at 8% for pharmaceuticals. Upon implementation, tariffs for most medical devices and pharmaceuticals dropped to zero, with the remaining tariff rates scheduled to phase out.

Overview of Energy Needs in South Korea

Due to scarce natural resources, South Korea depends on imported energy sources to meet approximately 90% of its energy needs and thus is one of the world’s top importers of crude oil and natural gas. Based on its second National Energy Basic Plan released in January 2014, South Korea is seeking to shift toward more demand side management. South Korea is looking to diversify the origins of energy imports and to promote greater balance between efficiency, safety and sustainability of energy. Strengthening its domestic energy infrastructure will be absolutely critical to South Korea’s economy, which includes a number of energy-intensive industries such as steel, refining and heavy manufacturing.

South Korea is the United States’ sixth largest trading partner, representing almost 4 percent of the current U.S. exports of oil and gas related equipment. South Korea’s oil and gas equipment imports total almost $500 million, and the US share of the Korean import market has steadily increased over recent years, reaching roughly 14 percent in 2013. Although Korea has virtually no indigenous energy resources, throughout the years, major Korea construction and engineering companies have been successful in winning bids for overseas projects, including energy. According to recent statistics, overseas orders for Korean industrial plants for the Oil and Gas segment represented approximately eight billion dollars, as of the first quarter of 2014. With expectations of increases in overseas orders for local Korean EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) companies, potential opportunities exist for reputable and qualified suppliers of rotating equipment that are able to offer their products and services at competitive pricing.

Nuclear energy’s perceived cost competitiveness and environmentally friendly character are driving Korea’s growing reliance on this energy source. According to the 2014 National Basic Energy Plan, the South Korean government targets nuclear power to meet 29% of demand by the year 2035. South Korea has 23 nuclear reactors, with 5 in construction and 6 more planned. Core products, technologies, and services are largely supplied by local companies. With recent heightened public safety concerns opportunities for reputable and qualified spare parts suppliers exist.  


This mission will demonstrate the United States’ commitment to sustained economic partnerships in Japan and South Korea. The mission’s purpose is to support the business development goals of U.S. firms as they construct a firm foundation for future business in Japan and South Korea and specifically aims to:

  • Assist in identifying potential partners and strategies for U.S. companies to gain access to each market for healthcare and energy needs in Japan and South Korea.
  • Confirm U.S. Government support for the activities of U.S. businesses in each market and to provide access to senior decision makers in the Japanese and South Korean markets.
  • Listen to the needs, suggestions and experience of individual participants to help shape appropriate U.S. Government positions regarding U.S. business interests in the region.
  • Organize private and focused events with local business and association leaders capable of becoming partners and clients of U.S. firms as they develop their business in each country.
  • Assist development of competitive strategies and market access with high level information gathering from private and public-sector leaders.


The mission will stop in Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, South Korea. In each country, participants will meet with pre-screened potential agents, distributors, and representatives, as well as other business partners and government officials. They will also attend market briefings by U.S. Embassy officials and other industry experts, as well as networking events offering further opportunities to speak with local business and industry decision-makers.


Sunday, Oct 19

Tokyo, Japan

  • Business Development Mission Orientation
  • U.S Government Trade Finance Briefing
  • Commercial Opportunity Overview
  • Welcome Dinner

Monday, Oct 20

Tokyo, Japan

  • Industry Briefings / Roundtable Discussions
  • Individual Company Business Appointments
  • Networking Dinner or Reception

Tuesday, Oct 21

Tokyo, Japan

  • Industry Briefings / Roundtable Discussions
  • Individual Company Business Appointments Networking Dinner or Reception

Wednesday, Oct 22

Tokyo, Japan;

Seoul, South Korea

  • Travel to Seoul, South Korea
  • Commercial Opportunity Overview
  • Government Meetings
  • Individual Company Business Appointments Networking Dinner or Reception

Thursday, Oct 23

Seoul, South Korea

  • Government Meetings
  • Individual Company Business Appointments Wrap-up Discussion
  • Closing Dinner


All companies interested in participating in the Secretarial Business Development Mission to Japan and South Korea must complete and submit an application package for consideration by the Department of Commerce. All applicants will be evaluated on their ability to meet certain conditions and best satisfy the selection criteria as outlined below. Approximately 20-25 companies will be selected to participate in the mission from the applicant pool. U.S. companies doing business in Japan and South Korea, as well as U.S. companies seeking to enter these markets for the first time may apply.

Fees and Expenses:

After a company has been selected to participate on the mission, a payment to the Department of Commerce in the form of a participation fee is required. The fee schedule for the mission is below:

  • $12,000 for large firms
  • $9,500 for a small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)1
  • $3,500 additional firm representative (large firm or SME – limit one additional representative per company)

Participants selected for the trade mission will be expected to pay for the cost of all personal expenses, including, but not limited to, lodging, meals, communication, incidentals, unless otherwise noted. International transportation to and from the trade mission is also the responsibility of the participant. In the event that the mission is cancelled, no personal expenses paid in anticipation of a trade mission will be reimbursed. However, participation fees for a cancelled trade mission will be reimbursed to the extent they have not already been expended in anticipation of the mission.

Business or entry visas may be required. Government fees and processing expenses to obtain such visas are not included in the participation fee. However, the U.S. Department of Commerce will provide instructions to each participant on the procedures required to obtain necessary business visas.

Conditions of Participation:

An applicant must sign and submit a completed application and supplemental application materials, including adequate information on the company’s products and/or services, primary market objectives, and goals for participation. If an incomplete application form is submitted or the information and material submitted does not demonstrate how the applicant satisfies the participation criteria, the Department of Commerce may reject the application, request additional information, or take the lack of information into account when evaluating the application.

Each applicant must also:

  • Certify that the products and services it seeks to export through the mission are either produced in the United States, or, if not, marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have at least 51% U.S. content. In cases where the U.S. content does not exceed 50%, especially where the applicant intends to pursue investment and major project opportunities, the following factors, may be considered in determining whether the applicant’s participation in the Business Development Mission is in the U.S. national interest:

o U.S. materials and equipment content;

o U.S. labor content;

o Contribution to the U.S. technology base, including conduct of research and development in the U.S.;

o Repatriation of profits to the U.S. economy;

o Potential for follow-on business that would benefit the U.S. economy;

  • Certify that the export of the products and services that it wishes to export through the mission would be in compliance with U.S. export controls and regulations;
  • Certify that it has identified to the Department of Commerce any business matter pending before any bureau or office in the Department of Commerce;
  • Certify that it has identified any pending litigation (including any administrative proceedings) to which it is a party that involves the Department of Commerce; and
  • Sign and submit an agreement that it and its affiliates (1) have not and will not engage in the bribery of foreign officials in connection with a company’s/participant’s involvement in this mission, and (2) maintain and enforce a policy that prohibits the bribery of foreign officials.

Selection Criteria for Participation: Selection will be based on the following criteria, listed in decreasing order of importance:

  • Suitability of the company’s products or services to the target markets and the likelihood of a participating company’s increased exports or business interests in the target markets as a result of this mission;
  • Consistency of the company's products or services with the scope and desired outcome of the mission’s goals;
  • Rank/seniority of the designated company representative;
  • Current or pending major project participation; and
  • Demonstrated export experience in the target markets and/or other foreign markets.

Diversity of entities participating in the mission with respect to type, size, location, sector or subsector may also be considered during the review process.

Referrals from political organizations and any information, including on the application, containing references to political contributions or other partisan political activities will be excluded from the application and will not be considered during the selection process. The sender will be notified of these exclusions.


Mission recruitment will be conducted in an open and public manner, including publication in the Federal Register (, posting on ITA’s business development mission calendar ( and other Internet web sites, press releases to general and trade media, direct mail, broadcast fax, notices by industry trade associations and other multiplier groups, and publicity at industry meetings, symposia, conferences, and trade shows.

Recruitment will begin immediately and conclude no later than August 22, 2014. Applications can be completed on-line at the Japan and South Korea Mission website at KoreaMission2014 or can be obtained by contacting the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Business Liaison (202-482-1360 or

The application deadline is Friday, August 22, 2014. Completed applications should be submitted to the Office of Business Liaison. Applications received after Friday, August 22, 2014, will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit. The Department of Commerce will evaluate all applications and inform applicants of selection decisions by September 5, 2014.


Applications can be downloaded from the business development mission website ( or can be obtained by contacting the Office of Business Liaison (see below).


General Information and Applications:
The Office of Business Liaison
1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 5062
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: 202-482-1360
Fax: 202-482-4054

1 An SME is defined as a firm with 500 or fewer employees or that otherwise qualifies as a small business under
SBA regulations. Parent companies, affiliates, and subsidiaries will be considered when determining business size. The dual pricing reflects the Commercial Service’s user fee schedule that became effective May 1, 2008 (see for additional information).

  Notice to Visitors!

  The link you have chosen will take you to a non-U.S. Government website.

  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website  disclaimer statement.

  Notice to Visitors!

  The link you have chosen will take you to a non-U.S. Government website.

  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website disclaimer statement.