Then and Now: Japanese Investment in the UK
Sierk A. Horn
19 September 2011, London
Japanese firms have a reputation as influential foreign investors. With this back-drop in mind, Sierk Horn’s lecture examines how Japanese firms are currently developing their presence in the UK. His research finds that Japanese investment behaviour is evolving. While benefiting from a strong presence within Europe, Japanese firms are in the process of reconfiguring their UK presence. Recent surveys show Europe losing ground as a promising region for medium-term overseas business operations. Japanese manufacturers have downgraded the attractiveness of the UK as a business destination. In the last decade the number of Japanese firms in the UK has declined considerably, indicating an appreciable slow-down in interest from Japan.
In light of the continued importance of Japan as an inward investment source country despite investment ‘newcomers,’ most notably from India or China, the long-term commitment of Japanese investors and their contribution to the regional regeneration of the UK represents a useful context in which to examine the current strategies and localisation behaviour of Japanese companies. A comparative and longitudinal analysis of the spatial distribution of Japanese Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the UK over the past two decades help explore agglomeration economies, investment and exit scenarios and the changing role of regional industrial policies.
Dr Sierk A. Horn is Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies at the University of Leeds. He was awarded a PhD in Japanese Studies and Habilitation from Freie Universitaet Berlin. He has published widely in the fields of consumer behaviour in East Asia, international knowledge transfer and strategic management of Japanese and European multinational enterprises (MNEs).
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