The alliance will give Kyodo PR access to Go Communications’ network and intelligence in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Cambodia, all of which represent major opportunities for Japanese companies.
In return, Go Communications will gain increased access to the Japanese market, which despite its relatively flat economy is the world’s largest importer of goods. The agency will also benefit from Kyodo’s presence in China.
Go Communications chief executive Michael De Kretser (pictured) said in a statement that “the partnership will provide Go Communications with the invaluable opportunity to tap into Kyodo PR’s [more than] 260 clients and 250 staff in Tokyo. In turn, Malaysian companies needing PR services in Japan or China will be introduced to Kyodo PR”.
He noted that more Japanese and Chinese brands were looking to enter Malaysia and the Southeast Asia region as a whole, while Malaysian brands were also looking to establish themselves in China and Japan.
Kyodo PR’s client portfolio includes Toyota, Nissan, Uniqlo, NEC, Pioneer, Sony Ericsson, Tokyo Disneyland, BMW, Michelin and Tourism Malaysia.
In a telephone interview with Campaign Asia-Pacific, De Kretser said Japanese brands were well positioned for growth in Southeast Asia given that major companies from the market already enjoyed strong perception and market share.
He added that Kyodo's presence in China would be a major asset in helping Malaysian brands with international ambitions. He pointed to Munchies, Sunway and Berjaya as examples of companies that were "investing hugely" there as well as in Japan and Southeast Asia. "Once they reach a certain scale in Malaysia they have to go to new frontiers, so it's a natural geographic progression and we're following them," he said.
De Kretser noted that Go Communications planned to establish partnerships in the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia in the near future.