Members of Japan’s insurance and financial services sectors are teaming up in an effort to remove barriers for small businesses (SMBs) to conduct trade with the U.S. Reports in the Nikkei Asian Review on Monday (Feb. 18) said Hiroshima Bank is collaborating with Tokio Marine, Nichido Fire Insurance and GlobalBrand to develop a one-stop shop for SMBs that want to expand into the U.S. market.
The companies are targeting SMBs that focus on tea, sake, digital devices and other products, helping businesses that want to capitalize their “Made in Japan” position, and sell to the U.S. via Amazon. According to reports, small businesses in Japan struggle to overcome barriers like the high cost of logistics, or insurance costs to protect against scenarios like consumer lawsuits.
Hiroshima Bank, Tokio Marine and GlobalBrand will collaborate on developing the all-in-one solution for SMBs, which is set for launch next month, reports said. GlobalBrand will provide logistics services to arrange collection of goods from Japanese sellers, shipment to the U.S. Amazon warehouses and the posting of those items for sale on Amazon.
Tokio Marine will link small businesses with insurance to protect against the risk of product damaged during shipment or storage, or consumer lawsuits. Reports noted that bundling products from multiple sellers allows the insurance company to provide lower rates.
The companies are also encouraging other regional banks in Japan to participate as the country’s cross-border eCommerce volumes increase. Reports said the U.S. will account for $10.9 trillion worth of B2C eCommerce with Japan by 2021, a 70 percent increase from 2017 volumes.
Reports added that the companies may consider expanding their venture into other cross-border markets, depending on the success of the initiative with U.S. trade.
Last year, Amazon’s operations in Japan were raided by the nation’s Fair Trade Commission over allegations of anticompetitive conduct.