City of Brampton Conducts Virtual Mission to Japan

December 1, 2020

The City of Brampton is proud to be one of the First Municipalities to Launch a Virtual Mission to Japan

As part of the City of Brampton’s Economic Recovery Strategy, the Economic Development Office (EDO) recently completed its first Virtual Mission to Japan. In the face of Covid-19 challenges and in the spirit of embracing change and technology, the City employed a virtual approach to provide a simple, safe, and cost-effective way to present Brampton’s value proposition to an international audience.

The mission was curated in collaboration with the Ontario Trade and Investment Office in Japan. The mission is also the first of its kind from any Canadian municipality.

Brampton is part of the Peel Region – which hosts over 100 Japanese companies — more than any other region in Canada.

The mission was led by Mayor Brown and Councillor Rowena Santos, with the involvement of former Mayor of Mississauga Hazel McCallion, who developed strong connections with Japan during her tenure as Mayor. The key objectives of the mission were to:

  • Form a first engagement and introduce the City of Brampton to Japan
    • Meet with key stakeholders in the Government, Business, Start-Ups and Technology Sectors.
    • Communicate Brampton’s value proposition and form relationships with Incubators and Industry to create a bridge between Brampton and Japan that businesses can cross (e.g. Landing Pad Tokyo). 
    • Carry out Business Retention & Expansion calls with Japanese Businesses who already have a Brampton presence as well as calls with new Japanese companies that have expansion plans or potential.

Brampton delegates held a briefing on Japan with the Consulate General of Japan in Toronto and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in Canada. Areas of collaboration were identified in order to foster and grow bilateral relations. 

Following this, the Brampton delegation met with the Canadian Ambassador to Japan, Ian Burney, as well as senior staff from the Canadian Embassy in Japan. The meeting included outlining areas of opportunity that the City of Brampton could take advantage of during this mission.

As part of Brampton’s Virtual Mission to Japan, the City of Brampton delegation hosted a roundtable discussion with innovation counterparts in Japan. The roundtable featured executives from Landing Pad Tokyo (LPT) – a Japanese accelerator that is bringing a new culture of innovation to Japan. The LPT recently announced a partnership with Ryerson University’s DMZ to foster collaboration across the Canadian and Japanese tech industries. Other speakers at the Roundtable included the DMZ, IT Weapons (Konica Minolta Subsidiary), and a host of Japanese companies. The goal from the roundtable was to leverage the bridges that exist between business, tech, and innovation in Japan & Canada.

Additional discussions were held with Japanese companies with existing facilities in Brampton including: IT Weapons, Canon Canada, Muro International, Yusen Logistics Canada Inc., on how they can strengthen relationships. 

The virtual mission also included meetings with key Japanese organizations and Businesses. The Objective of these meetings was to have discussions with Japanese companies that have expansion plans or potential.  Meetings were used to strengthen relationships, provide updates, and to communicate Brampton’s value proposition. Two key meetings held were with a large Technology Corporate and with the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA). The City of Brampton team offered a variety of opportunities for collaboration with both entities that will be pursued in follow-up meetings. One of the opportunities presented was an invitation for both to visit Brampton and attend Canada’s Innovation Corridor Summit happening in Brampton in September 2021.

Post mission work is currently underway to continue discussion on the opportunities presented with Japanese counterparts and to follow-up on actions items.

“I’d like to thank Hazel McCallion for her mentorship and for joining our team on this mission. Her participation and valuable advice helped ensure our meetings were productive and successful. Brampton already has strong ties with Japan. We are proud to be home to several Japanese companies including Canon Canada, IT Weapons, MURO International, Yusen Logistics, and more. Canada and Japan are strategic partners and share many cultural and business ties, including being members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Japan is also the largest source of bilateral foreign direct investment (FDI), for Canada in Asia.”
– Patrick Brown, Mayor, City of Brampton

 “One of the most important aspects of raising the profile of Brampton in Japan, is to build trusting relationships with the Japanese businesses. Japanese companies look to examples of success from other Japanese companies when they consider investing or expanding in international markets. Another key factor in attracting companies from Japan is access to skilled talent, and Brampton is very strong in this regard. Brampton’s talent pool has historically helped to attract Japanese companies to the Region.”
– Her Worship, Hazel McCallion, Former Mayor of Mississauga

“A key element of our Economic Recovery Strategy is a continued focus on seeking foreign direct investment. Our goal from this mission is to leverage the bridges that exist between business, Tech, and Innovation in Japan & Canada. We’re especially excited that Brampton’s own IT Weapons joined us to speak about how being part of Brampton’s Tech and Innovation eco-system has contributed to their success. We are excited to tell the world about the great things Brampton has to offer!”
Rowena Santos, Regional Councillor, Wards 1 & 5, City of Brampton