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<b>Japan - In the steps of the foreign investor</b>

    Headline: Japan - In the steps of the foreign investor
Source: Euromoney
Date: March 2000
Author: Peter Lee

As Japan struggles to reinvigorate its economy, one sometimes overlooked spark is being provided by foreign direct investment. In selected sectors, foreign companies now seem to believe that recent deregulation offers them a decent crack at a huge and wealthy market. Although it remains prohibitively expensive to manufacture goods in Japan, the service industries and certain retail sectors look promising to foreign companies. And manufacturers are tempted to invest in joint research and technology transfer. Peter Lee reports

Branson's Virgin Cinemas have caught
a shifting consumer mood in Japan

Last year the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) conducted a review of regulatory reforms in Japan that governments have enacted since 1993 in an attempt to reinvigorate an economy flattened by the collapse of the asset bubble at the start of the 1990s and weighed down by the resulting mass of bad debts for the rest of the decade.

For those hopeful that Japanese leaders had finally grasped the importance of liberalizing markets and encouraging competition and foreign participation in the economy, the report made depressing reading.

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