This recognition system is part of the project "MADE IN NAGOYA," originated by young staff at the Nagoya Chamber of Commerce and Industry as an effort to maintain the traditional status of Nagoya as Japan's central powerhouse of manufacturing. This system is notable for its flexibility in expanding the target area of qualification requirements to the Greater Nagoya area.
Finally it became the last award of this successful three-year project. I am pleased to announce that we received a growing number of applications year by year and the applicants' level remained competitively high despite our concern. I have realized again the underlying strength of industries in this region through the evalution and selection process.
We are absolutely confident that all the prize-winning companies are essential to the further advance of manufacturing industry in Japan. These are the folks who are never going to be satisfise with the status-quo but always seek the challenges for further technological innovations within their companies. Therefore,it is safe to call them "unsung heroes" of the region's economy.
I have traveled around the country visiting small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) and found that many SMEs in the Chubu Region have not been recognized by society at large, despite their highly sophisticated technologies. This state of affairs is mainly attributable to the fact that such SMEs have maintained their stability by acting as subcontractors to powerful major companies. A major factor enabling Japanese industries to play an active role in the global market since the war, with the advantages of high quality and price competitiveness, is that dedicated SMEs have been unceasing in their efforts to develop technologies, stably supply high quality components at low prices, and remain flexible in response to stringent customer demands.
With the advent of the era of global mega-competition, however, dramatic changes have been wrought in relations between ordering companies and supplying companies. Conversely, this is a good opportunity for SMEs to expand their business activities to global markets. I believe that SMEs in the Nagoya Region should take this opportunity to provide their superior technologies to companies around the world.
Although the project ends this year, I expect the prize-winning companies will continue to develop and play a leading role in making NAGOYA a solid global brand of manufacturing. Also, I sincerely hope that the "MADE IN NAGOYA" project have created added value to manufacturing in the region and served as an encouragement to the region's SMEs which have made untiring efforts behind the scenes in pursuit of product quality and customer satisfaction.