A delegation of Shikoku, headed by Akira Chiba, president of the Economic Federation of Shikoku Japan, which represents more than 300 companies in the region, held various contacts in Galicia with the aim of seeking to expand economic relations and exchange views on routes pilgrimage. The director of IGAPE, Javier Aguilera met with Chiba and a representation of entrepreneurs from different economic sectors in Galicia, besides the director of CEG, Antonio Dieter Moure, Secretary of Cluster Turismo Galicia, Cesáreo Pardal and directors of Hospitality Compostela.
The Japanese delegation composed of businessmen from different sectors such as distributors of food products, manufacturers of industrial machinery, transport and telecommunications, engineering or services, among others, showed interest in pursuing increased economic relations with Galicia and expand strategic alliances with Galicia. Not in vain for a total of 274 Galician companies exported to Japan over the last year, 14% more than the previous year, and the Galician companies have shown interest in further increasing relations with such an important and advanced market like Japan, which values, among other products, Galician fashion or especially Galician food products noted for their quality as wines, algae, hams or chestnuts.
The business delegation of Shikoku showed special interest in the Galician tourism sector in general and the Camino de Santiago in particular, so also held a meeting with either representing the Tourism Agency of Galicia and the manager of Xacobeo, Rafael Sanchez, with the aim of deepening the established tourism and cultural relationship between Galicia and Japan around the pilgrimage routes and those from Galicia collaborate in the consolidation of the Japanese pilgrimage route as the Kumano Way. In 2015, the total number of pilgrims sealed their ‘compostela’ at the end of the route, 1,197 came from Japan. This year, the figure has already risen 22.5 percent over the same period of 2015.