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Two very different industries are providing growing potential for Australian exporters in Japan.

The market for Australian native flowers in Japan—such as the kangaroo paw, wax flower, rice flower and umbrella fern—is increasing, according to experts at a recent forum at the University of Queensland. “Unlike Australians who, for the majority, use flowers to celebrate special occasions, the Japanese are huge consumers of floral products,” says forum leader Lilly Lim-Camacho, researcher for the university’s Centre for Native Floriculture. “They spend a significant amount of time and money each week sourcing bouquets which feature all around their homes including entrance halls, dining rooms and even the kitchen.”

The forum brought together representatives from all sections of the supply chain, including Australian growers, foliage suppliers, exporters and government departments, as well as Japanese importers, auction houses and florists. Delegates discussed challenges and successes in producing and delivering flowers to the Japanese market, and by the close of the forum had developed a viable promotional strategy to make further inroads into Japan.

Also, a new report from Austrade reveals a new growth market thanks to the huge uptake of technology in Japan. The Japan Market Report says the huge amount of commerce done via mobile phones in Japan has given rise to the new term ‘M-commerce’. With over 60 million Japanese using their mobiles to access things such as mobile television and radio, and music downloads, Australian companies should look at opportunities to target products to this market, says Phil Ingram, Austrade’s senior trade commissioner in Tokyo. “Australian ICT players should consider opportunities ranging from IP/broadband-based communications, networking, wireless communications, internet applications, satellite communications and software product development.”

Ingram says a range of industries will benefit from institutional changes in Japan. “New government reforms and restructuring, along with a dynamic new Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe who’s created strategies for achieving higher growth for the Japanese economy, means the market is ripe for the taking for Australian businesses.”

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