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Pine Bluff East: marketing office in Osaka will attempt to attract more Japanese companies to Jefferson County.

Within the next 60 days, the Jefferson County Jefferson County is the name of 25 counties and one parish in the United States. The following are named for Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States:
  • Jefferson County, Alabama
  • Jefferson County, Arkansas
  • Jefferson County, Colorado
 Industrial Foundation will open a branch office.

It will be 7,400 miles away.

It will be in Osaka, Japan.

Isn't that taking industrial recruitment to an extreme?

Wallace Gieringer, the foundation's president, doesn't think so.

He points to the success of Century Tube Corp., which opened a plant at Pine Bluff Pine Bluff, city (1990 pop. 57,140), seat of Jefferson co., S central Ark., on the Arkansas River; inc. 1839. It is a port and trade center for an agricultural area and has industries producing metal, wood, and paper products; machinery; electrical equipment; and  13 years ago. Since then, the Japanese-owned company has expanded six times and now employs about 200 people.

More such Japanese investments are being sought.

"We needed a presence in Japan, preferably pref·er·a·ble  
More desirable or worthy than another; preferred: Coffee is preferable to tea, I think.

 in Osaka," Gieringer says. "Osaka is the industrial center of Japan."

Gieringer predicted the opening of the office eventually could "create jobs, expand the tax base and increase purchases. That's what That's What is one of the more idiosyncratic releases by solo steel-string guitar artist Leo Kottke. It is distinctive in it's jazzy nature and "talking" songs ("Buzzby" and "Husbandry").  we're all about."

The Jefferson County Industrial Foundation will be the only U.S.-based economic development organization with an office in Osaka, a highly industrialized in·dus·tri·al·ize  
v. in·dus·tri·al·ized, in·dus·tri·al·iz·ing, in·dus·tri·al·iz·es
1. To develop industry in (a country or society, for example).

 city of almost 14 million people.

Larger U.S. cities have opened offices in other areas of the Far East and Europe.

The idea for the office came from Matsuichi Nakamura, chairman of Century's parent company, Daiwa Steel Tube Industries Co. of Osaka. Daiwa is funding the foundation's trade office.

Nakamura had discussions with Gieringer about attracting other Japanese companies This is a list of companies from Japan. Note that 株式会社 can be (and frequently is) read both kabushiki kaisha and kabushiki gaisha (with or without a hyphen). See that article for more details.  to Pine Bluff. In October, Gieringer traveled to Osaka to meet with several organizations willing to assist with the industrial recruiting effort.

During that visit, Nakamura suggested that a Pine Bluff marketing office be opened in Osaka with Daiwa's assistance.

"The success of Century Tube has demonstrated that Japanese companies can operate efficiently and profitably |in Arkansas~," Nakamura says. "Additionally, Pine Bluff has demonstrated that such companies and their Japanese personnel are readily accepted as a part of the community.

"This has been a good partnership for Daiwa and Century Tube. I believe it can be a good partnership for other companies as well."

Setting Up Shop

The office space and employees for the Osaka office will be provided by Daiwa. The industrial foundation will pick up nominal costs and provide economic data on the city, Gieringer says.

Promotional materials about the state and its natural resources will be provided by the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission.

Mariko Yajima, an advertising, public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most  and marketing specialist, will manage the Osaka office. She will act as a liaison between the Far East and Pine Bluff, disseminate dis·sem·i·nate  
v. dis·sem·i·nat·ed, dis·sem·i·nat·ing, dis·sem·i·nates
1. To scatter widely, as in sowing seed.

 information about Jefferson County and contact Japanese corporations looking to expand.

Yajima recently returned to Osaka after spending almost two weeks in Pine Bluff.

"In the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , we have various allies such as Arkansas Power & Light Co., the AIDC (Automatic Identification and Data Collection or Capture) Capturing data electronically by scanning bar codes or alphanumeric codes (OCR, MICR), by reading magnetic stripes or by wireless means. See AIM, bar code and RFID.  and other utilities |that assist in industrial recruitment~," Gieringer says. "In Japan, there are additional allies. We will be working with banks, which take a much more active role in plant location there; with industries; with economists."

Gieringer hopes to see results within two years.

"Industrial development is a long-term effort," he says. "You build upon a foundation. That's especially true in the Far East. Relationships there are built upon mutual trust and understanding. The mutual trust exists with Daiwa. They are a walking testimonial for Pine Bluff and Arkansas."
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Author:Webb, Kane
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Jul 13, 1992
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