Inaugural Japan-Hawaii Economic Summit

Posted on May 26, 2017 in DBEDT, JHES2017, News, State of Hawaii, U.S.-Japan Council, USJC

Japan-Hawaii Economic SummitThe first ever Japan-Hawaii Economic Summit successfully convened in Kona, Hawaii, from May 9 through May 11, 2017. A joint project between DBEDT and the U.S.-Japan Council, a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit educational organization, the Summit gathered over 200 leaders from government, business and the community from Hawaii, the U.S. Mainland and Japan.

The objectives of the Summit were to strengthen existing relationships and create new partnerships between Japan and Hawaii for the purpose of economic growth. The Summit provided discussions on strategic issues for sharing best practices and insights, as well as offered a venue for individual conversations that would lead to actionable results. It was successful in attracting a diverse group of participants who were able to connect despite language barriers, and ultimately forged new, productive relationships.

The content of the Summit covered much ground, ranging from the Keynote One by Masaaki Tanaka, PwC International, who provided the backdrop of historical trends in globalized trade and economic growth, to Keynote Two by Robert Harrison, First Hawaiian Bank, who explained the history of Japanese investment in Hawaii. Industry-specific panels included:

  • Business Bridges – successful market entry methods and helpful resources
  • Innovations in Education – developing young leaders for global relations
  • Tourism 2.0 – strategies to engage the next generation visitor
  • Governors’ Panel: Gov. Ige and Gov. Yuzaki – nurturing innovation economies
  • Food Fortunes – overcoming challenges and building brands overseas
  • Renewable Energy – how Hawaii will achieve its 100% renewable goal, and how Japan can benefit

“The first ever Japan-Hawaii Economic Summit was a tremendous success,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “The summit delivered on its promise to bring together various stakeholders to explore new ways to collaborate that will lead to positive economic opportunities for our state. We had a lot of positive feedback from the participants, who said they gained valuable insight and were energized by the discussions, which is sparking additional one-on-one dialogue. We ended the summit with a thought-provoking discussion on clean energy, which will carry the momentum forward to our upcoming VERGE Hawaii conference in June.”   

Videos of the event:

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2017 Japan-Hawaii Economic Summit (JHES)