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2014年5月 8日 (木)

中小企業活性化 「攻めの姿勢」で市場開拓図れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 4:00 am, May 08, 2014
Smaller businesses must aggressively seek more market opportunities
中小企業活性化 「攻めの姿勢」で市場開拓図れ

Small and medium-sized corporations must be invigorated to put the economy back on the road to full recovery. This is essential in that such companies constitute a wide range of businesses in this nation.
 景気の本格回復には、すそ野の広い中小企業の活性化が不可欠だ。

Smaller enterprises must exert their originality and ingenuity in implementing what could be called an aggressive strategy through, for example, increased exports. Doing so is indispensable for their success in finding a means of survival.
 創意工夫を凝らし、輸出拡大などで自らの活路を開く「攻めの姿勢」が求められる。

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry has drafted the 2014 edition of its “White Paper on Small and Medium Enterprises in Japan.”
 経済産業省が2014年版の中小企業白書をまとめた。

The corporate sector’s business performance is beginning to improve nowadays, largely due to the Abenomics policy package being implemented by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Still, the pace of improvement in the performance of medium and small businesses is slower than that of major corporations.
 安倍政権の経済政策、アベノミクスの効果で企業業績は上向いてきたが、大企業に比べ、回復が遅れているのが中小企業である。

Abe has said: “Medium and small enterprises are the underpinning of the [Japanese] economy. I’ll work to ensure the economic recovery is truly felt everywhere in the nation.”
 安倍首相は「経済を支えているのは中小企業だ。回復の実感を全国に広げる」と述べている。

The prime minister’s pledge to increase the managerial vitality of small and medium-sized businesses is appropriate, considering that these enterprises account for more than 90 percent of the domestic corporate sector.
 日本企業の9割超を占める中小企業の経営力強化に焦点を当てるのは適切だろう。

The latest white paper says that an important task facing the government in this respect is to bolster overseas operations of smaller businesses by, for instance, increasing their exports. Small and medium manufacturers whose business includes exports account for only 3 percent of the total.
 白書が重要な課題として指摘したのは、輸出拡大など海外事業のてこ入れである。中小の製造業のうち、輸出を手がける会社は、全体の約3%にとどまる。

Smaller enterprises should take advantage of vigorous demand in newly emerging and other economically vibrant nations in their struggle to survive and prosper. Such efforts are indispensable in that the domestic market is bound to shrink as a result of this nation’s chronically low birthrate and the resultant aging population.
 少子高齢化と人口減少で国内市場の先細りは不可避なだけに、新興国などの旺盛な需要を取り込み、生き残りを図るべきだ。

China has been selected by a large number of small and medium Japanese companies as the main target of their overseas operations. In recent years, however, there have been growing concerns about the risks involved in business operations in that country, reflecting strained relations between Tokyo and Beijing as well as a lack of transparency in the Chinese legal system.
 海外展開先は中国が多数を占めるが、最近は日中関係の悪化や不透明な法制度を理由に事業リスクが懸念されている。

Diversify export destinations

A task confronting the government in this regard is to support the export drive of smaller companies targeting markets other than China, such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar, while also assisting service and other nonmanufacturing companies with opening businesses in these nations.
 ベトナム、インドネシア、ミャンマーといった中国以外への輸出や、サービス業など非製造業の進出を支援することが課題だ。

However, there are high hurdles for independent small and medium corporations in finding market opportunities overseas. Overcoming those hurdles requires the creation of a system which would support ambitious businesses in their efforts to join the overseas market.
 ただ、中小企業が単独で海外市場を開拓するハードルは高い。意欲的な企業を後押しする体制づくりが欠かせない。

Attempts should be made to help smaller corporations better pursue their goal of starting operations overseas. Measures may include a close information exchange between the government and the Japan External Trade Organization so companies can be referred to institutions that can properly assist their drive for foreign operations. It is also important to analyze cases of success and failure involving domestic companies operating overseas.
 政府や日本貿易振興機構(ジェトロ)が情報交換を緊密にし、企業に最適な機関を紹介したり、海外での成功・失敗例を分析したりする取り組みを拡充すべきだ。

It is disturbing to see that the government’s assistance measures have not been adequately made known to small and medium corporations. It should also be taken seriously that smaller corporations are dissatisfied with the lack of cooperation among organizations tasked with assisting their drives to start business overseas.
 気がかりなのは、支援策への認知度が低いことである。支援機関の連携不足に不満がくすぶるのも反省点と言えよう。

It is disconcerting as well to realize that there has been an increase in the number of small and medium companies that have been forced out of business due to the rapid aging of their top officials.
 経営者の急速な高齢化に伴い、中小企業の廃業が増えている問題も深刻である。

Also worth considering is the idea of establishing a nationwide system in which companies whose operators have no designated successors would be matched with candidates who wish to run corporations through the mediation of relevant local authorities.
 事業承継を円滑に進めるため、後継者のいない企業と、経営者志望の人材を仲介する制度を全国に整える案などは検討に値する。

Corporations need to undergo constant change in their top management. And society needs to stem a decrease in the number of people hoping to found new companies. This requires the promotion of regulatory reform aimed at easing procedures to be completed in setting up a business.
 企業の新陳代謝は必要である。起業・創業の希望者が減少していることにも歯止めをかけたい。開業手続きを簡素化する規制改革に取り組むことが急務だ。

There is no doubt that smaller businesses will find it difficult to revitalize their operations if they solely depend on assistance measures. Such corporations should deepen relations with their local financial institutions and exercise wisdom in creating new business models. We hope they will discern their advantages and concentrate their financial resources and personnel on their areas of specialty, thus improving their competitiveness.
 もちろん政策支援に頼るだけでは道のりは険しい。中小企業は地元金融機関と連携を深め、新たな事業モデルの構築に知恵を絞るべきだ。自社の強みを見極め、資金や人材を集中的に投入して、競争力を高めてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 6, 2014)

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