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Kobe offers ideal environment for investment and living

Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster comprises medical complex, biotechnological research and development zone, and simulation area housing the K computer, the world’s fourth-fastest supercomputer

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 April, 2016, 2:53pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 April, 2016, 10:10am

Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports

There is an air of excitement hovering over the cosmopolitan port city of Kobe, and it’s not just because of the area’s natural charm, the assimilated vibe of various cultures from the people that call it home, or the legendary Kobe beef. The aura of something exciting and cutting-edge has transformed Kobe into one of the world’s leading bastions for biotechnology research and medical breakthroughs.

Since the government started the Kobe Medical Industry Development Project in 1998, many state-of-the-art research institutions, highly specialised hospitals and more than 300 biomedical companies have set up bases on Kobe’s Port Island.

The development project is known today as the Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster (KBIC) – Japan’s largest platform that bridges biomedical research with clinical applications. The cluster is divided into three zones: the medical complex, the biotechnological research and development zone, and the simulation area where the K computer, the world’s fourth-fastest supercomputer, is housed.

“The KBIC encompasses all aspects of the biomedical value chain in just one space, and constitutes a propitious environment for the development of the most innovative pharmaceuticals,” says Masao Kakiuchi, foreign investment group manager for the Kobe Enterprise Promotion Bureau. “We also support young entrepreneurs in the field of information technology (IT). By establishing an exclusive office for local and foreign start-ups in the centre of Kobe, we aim to accelerate innovations in IT and new technologies.”

Kobe offers several living and investment incentives for tourists and businesses. Various cultural lifestyles have been integrated into the neighbourhoods with the presence of international schools, religious facilities, ethnic cuisines and numerous tourism spots that enhance living conditions. Investors can also get administrative support from a single portal and enjoy fiscal incentives including a reduction of up to 90 per cent on fixed assets, urban planning and business office taxes.

With investments into Japan rising 181 per cent in 2014, and Asia accounting for more than half of the inflows, the Kobe City Government eyes more mutual tourism and business exchanges. It has continuing marketing campaigns in Hong Kong and Singapore, and welcomes cooperation with other rapidly growing East Asian and Southeast Asian cities.

“Kobe is an ideal location for Asian companies as it features all of the advantages and qualities particular to Japan,” Kakiuchi says. “Businesses have the opportunity to be near cutting-edge technology and academic pursuits. It is a city that is conducive to productive and comfortable living.”


Kobe City Government