OPG will open an office in Beijing later this year

September 8, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

If all goes smoothly, the Okinawan Prefectural Government (OPG) will open an office in Beijing later this year. OPG hopes that this will contribute to the expansion of sales channels for the products and to attract Chinese tourists to Okinawa. The office will start with a manager from the OPG, and one or two local employees. In September, at the regular meetings of Okinawa Prefectural Assembly, the government will suggest that about 15 million yen be put aside to cover expenses for the Beijing Office. A staff member from the OPG has already visited Beijing to look for an appropriate office building and to coordinate matters with related agencies.

The OPG’s Beijing office will be the fifth set up overseas, following on from offices in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Shanghai and the Korea office for Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau (OCVB). The opening date has not been decided upon, because its takes time to get through the complicated approval process in Beijing. In the case of the Shanghai office set up in 2005, it took six months from the start of this process until it opened. Circumstances on the Chinese side mean that the OPG Beijing Office will start as the office for Okinawa Industrial Promotion Public Corporation.

The OPG had been considering setting up an office in Beijing and took the plunge and started planning when some favorable developments occurred, such as multiple-entry visas for Chinese tourists and an airline commencing a service between Beijing and Naha. The OPG hopes to help Okinawan companies to expand their business in the Chinese market.

With regard to the date of the opening of the office, a spokesperson for the Industrial Policy Division of the OPG said, “We are concerned that the procedures will take a long time because the relevant law is has been revised in China this year, but we want to open the office as early as possible during the year. The first thing that we will do is approach airline companies in Beijing in an attempt to attract Chinese tourists to Okinawa.”

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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