Known for its historical significance and scenic beauty, Kobe has also long been a hub for international trade, with many multinational companies setting up operations in the city.
The first arrival of international traders and merchants in Kobe dates back to January 1st, 1868. This was during the Meiji period, which marked the beginning of Japan’s modernization and the opening of the country to international trade and ultimate the wider world as a whole. Kobe, being strategically located between Osaka and Kyoto, was chosen as one of the five ports of entry for foreign trade.
The first group of foreign merchants to arrive in Kobe included British, French, and American traders, who established trading houses and warehouses in the city’s port area. These early merchants played a pivotal role in establishing Kobe as a center for international trade and helped to transform Japan’s economy into a modern, industrialized one. You can easily see the remnants of the old port area just a few minutes from Lexis Japan – walk down towards the waterfront and check out the architecture.
Today, Kobe is home to a huge number of international companies, including some of the largest in Japan.
One of the most significant of these is Procter & Gamble. The American multinational corporation is best known for its consumer goods products, which include household staples like Tide laundry detergent, Crest toothpaste, and Pampers diapers.
Procter & Gamble has a research and development facility located in Kobe, which serves as a hub for product development and innovation for the company’s Asian market. The facility employs over 500 people, many of whom are scientists and researchers who work on developing new and improved products for consumers.
Another major international company with a presence in Kobe is Nestle, the Swiss food and beverage company. Nestle operates a production facility in the city, which produces a variety of food and beverage products for the Japanese market.
The company’s Kobe factory produces everything from coffee and tea to confectionery and culinary products, and it has been a major employer in the region for many years. Nestle’s presence in Kobe has helped to drive economic growth and job creation in the city, and it has also helped to establish Kobe as a hub for the international trade in food and beverage manufacturing in Japan.
In addition to these multinational giants, there are many other international companies that have set up operations in Kobe. These include companies like IBM, GE Healthcare, and Hewlett-Packard, which all have research and development facilities located in the city.
One of the key advantages of Kobe as a location for international companies is its strategic location. The city is located at the center of Japan’s major transportation networks, including its extensive road, rail, and air networks. This makes it an ideal location for companies that need to transport goods and people across the country and around the world.
Kobe’s port is also a major asset for international companies, as it is one of the busiest and most well-connected ports in Japan. The port serves as a hub for shipping and logistics, connecting Kobe to major ports in Asia, North America, and Europe. This has helped to establish Kobe as a major center for international trade, and it has attracted many foreign companies to the city.
Another factor that has contributed to the growth of international companies in Kobe is the city’s highly skilled workforce. Kobe is home to several universities and research institutions, which have helped to create a pool of highly educated and skilled workers who are sought after by companies in a variety of industries.
The international presence in Kobe is interesting. There are far fewer foreigners in the streets than you will see in Tokyo or Osaka, but foreign companies definitely leave a larger impression on the city’s business world than you’ll see in the major centres. Many Lexis students are interested in international trade in Japan, either through their studies or with an eye to future employment, and Kobe is an ideal location to explore this.