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For Immediate Release Contact: Curt Cultice
Monday, October 25, 1999
(202) 482-3809

First U.S.-Japan Construction Cooperation
Forum to Lead to More U.S. Contracts

Washington, D.C. --Fifty American and Japanese construction, civil engineering, and architectural design companies participated in the first meeting of the U.S.-Japan Construction Cooperation Forum (CCF) on October 22 in Tokyo, Japan. U.S. and Japanese Government officials also attended the CCF, which is designed to increase U.S. participation in the Japanese public works market by facilitating the formation of joint ventures between U.S. and Japanese firms.

"We applaud Japan's efforts in holding a first-class meeting with all the key players and appreciate the tremendous support of the Japanese industry and government representatives," Under Secretary of Commerce David L. Aaron said from Washington.

This past year, U.S. firms won only $50 million in contracts of Japan's $250 billion public works market. This is substantially lower than the $300 million they were awarded in the late 1980's.

"During the CCF, American companies had the opportunity to discuss with Japanese firms and key Japanese Government ministries their interests and the world-class services they can provide in Japan's public works market," Aaron said. "We expect the CCF to lead to real business opportunities and look forward to an increase in the number of U.S.-Japan joint ventures and public works contracts very soon."

The CCF was agreed to during the July 1999 annual review of the U.S.-Japan construction agreements. The U.S. and Japanese Governments will work with their respective industries to determine the format and timing of the next CCF meeting.

"Our companies are very interested in current public works projects as well as the public works projects in Japan's upcoming fiscal package," Aaron said.

In January 2000, the two governments will meet at the Under Secretary level to review progress made under the agreements since last July.

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