EU Gateway was created in 1990 to deepen economic interaction and cooperation between Europe and Japan. This flagship initiative of the EU was implemented and managed by the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments under the Partnership Instrument. After thirty years in the Asian markets, the Programme became the leading business platform establishing successful partnerships between European and Asian firms.
In 2008, a new editioon of the Programme expanted into the Republic of Korea. In the timeframe between 2008 and 2014:
• 1,500 companies participated in 46 Business Missions to Japan and the Republic of Korea
• 22,000 individual meetings had been organised
• 64% of companies established business collaborations which translated into revenue growth
• 86% of the participating EU companies were highly satisfied with EU Gateway
• 83% of participants found the business mission highly useful to increase their market understanding
• Most participants were micro (30%), small (35%) and medium-sized (25%) companies.
In 2014, EU Gateway had organised a total of 112 business missions to Japan and Korea, and supported 3,870 participating European companies expand into Asia thorough EU-funded business missions in 20 diverse sectors.
In the same year, the EU Business Avenues in South East Asia pilot programme was launched. It replicated the organisation of EU Gateway business missions to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. 120 European companies participated in the first 3 EU-funded business missions to South East Asia.
Between 2-16 and 2020, EU Gateway │ Business Avenues oncluded 30 years of successful experience supporting European companies to establish long-lasting business collaborations in Asia. For this last edition of the Programme, the chosen target markets were the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines (2016-2020), Japan (2017-2019), and China (2016-2018).
During this five-year run, EU Gateway | Business Avenues organised 53 EU-funded business missions open to selected European companies, which benefitted from coaching before, during and after a one-week business mission to Asia focused on key sectors:
- Green Energy Technologies
- Environment & Water Technologies
- Clean Technologies
- Healthcare & Medical Technologies
- Information & Communication Technologies
- Construction & Building Technologies
- Railway Technologies & Services
- Contemporary European Design
- Organic Food & Beverage
Business missions were entry tickets to challenging markets due to business culture or regulatory constraints. Through a dedicated team in Europe as well as in Asia, EU Gateway | Business Avenues offered a unique set of services to:
- Sound out business opportunities in promising markets
- Minimise the costs typically required to enter a new market
- Make new contacts and strengthen the company network
- Discuss challenges and opportunities with industry players
- Benefit from professional coaching and follow-up at all stages
Each business mission accommodated between 40 to 50 European companies, depending on the target market.