ちいさな企業 日本再生に期待される潜在力

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 10, 2012)
Harness small firms' potential to revitalize Japan
ちいさな企業 日本再生に期待される潜在力(7月8日付・読売社説)

Small and midsize companies account for 90 percent of domestic enterprises, and are a huge potential source of technological and human capital. We hope they will play a significant role in kick-starting the economy.
 日本企業の9割を占める中小企業は、技術や人材などの潜在力を持つ。日本経済に弾みをつける役割を期待したい。

A panel of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry formed to investigate the future of small and midsize businesses recently announced its proposals for revitalizing this sector. The panel's report compiled the views of workers at small and midsize companies including managers, female entrepreneurs and younger workers.
 経済産業省の「“ちいさな企業”未来会議」は、中小企業の活性化策に関する提言をまとめた。中小企業の経営者や女性起業家、青年層などの現場の声を集約したのが特徴である。

An important part of the proposals is the request for the government to revise conventional measures by paying more attention to smaller companies, instead of supporting the relatively major members of this sector with priority.
 提言のポイントは、比較的規模が大きい中小企業を主な支援対象としてきた政府に対し、小規模企業にも十分目配りするよう、施策の修正を求めたことだ。

The number of small and midsize companies has decreased by 650,000 over the last decade, to the detriment of about 3 million jobs. Smaller firms that close or struggle are particularly noticeable.
 中小企業は、過去10年で約65万社減り、雇用者数は約300万人も減少した。小規模な企業の廃業や経営不振が目立つ。

With the domestic market shrinking due to the aging population and low birthrate, and businesses being pinched by an unusually high yen, smaller companies tend to be affected also by overseas transfers and poor performance by the large companies they do business with. Small and midsize companies face an increasingly harsh business environment.
 少子高齢化に伴う国内市場の縮小や超円高に加え、取引先である大企業の海外移転や業績悪化に振り回されがちだ。経営環境は一段と厳しくなっている。

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Looking for the next Toyota

The decline in small and midsize businesses has led to a vicious cycle that exhausts regional economies. This can no longer be ignored.
 中小企業の低迷により、地域経済が疲弊するという悪循環に陥っている状況も看過できない。

The panel displayed a stronger level of concern, pointing out that "small enterprises can change Japan." Indeed, we believe that only revitalized small and midsize firms can maintain regional jobs and prevent the further hollowing out of domestic industries.
 未来会議が危機感を強め、「小さな企業が日本を変える」と指摘したのは妥当だ。中小企業が活性化してこそ、地域の雇用が維持され、空洞化を防ぐ方策になる。

Many major firms such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Panasonic Corp. started out as small, local factories. A vital question for today is how to discover and support a future Toyota that has growth potential.
 トヨタ自動車やパナソニックなどの大企業も、小さな町工場からスタートした。成長が見込まれる「未来のトヨタ」を発掘し、後押しすることが問われている。

Unfortunately, many small firms miss opportunities for dramatic growth because of a lack in practical management expertise.
 実践的な経営ノウハウが不足しているため、飛躍のチャンスを逃している小規模企業も多い。

The panel's proposal emphasized the importance of boosting a one-stop management support system where financial institutions, certified tax accountants and others could help small and midsize enterprises in cooperation with the central and local governments. Aid would be provided depending on the individual company's stage, whether just starting out, stable or growing, or looking for successors. Details of the system should be worked out as soon as possible.
 提言は、起業から安定・成長期、事業承継など、企業の段階に応じて、国や自治体と連携しながら金融機関、税理士などがワンストップで経営支援する「知識サポート体制」の強化を打ち出した。具体化を急ぐべきだろう。

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Market unique technology

Measures are also necessary to assist small and midsize businesses in improving unique technological skills and enhancing their products' market competitiveness. We think an initiative to create a concentrated area for overseas-oriented industry--one of the panel's proposals--deserves serious consideration. Parties involved need to rack their brains to discover the best ways for small and midsize firms to expand their sales in Asia and elsewhere.
 オンリーワンの技術を磨き、製品力を強化する支援策の充実も重要だ。提言が示した「海外展開集積地域構想」は検討に値する。中小企業がアジアなどで販路を拡大できるように知恵を絞りたい。

In addition to manufacturing, companies in service industries such as nursing care and medical services need to be developed, as women and young people can work comfortably in these fields. It is important to develop working environments that can better utilize the potential of this nation's women.
 ものづくりだけでなく、女性や若者が働きやすい介護、医療などのサービス分野の企業育成が課題と言える。女性パワーをもっと活用する環境整備が欠かせない。

Policies concerning small and midsize companies should be one of the pillars of the government's up-coming strategy for revitalizing Japan. However, care must be taken so these measures are not just an additional form of lavish support.
 政府は近くまとめる日本再生戦略の柱に中小企業政策を位置づけるべきだ。ただし、大前提は、施策を精査し、ばらまき型の追加支援としないことである。

Small and midsize companies have no hope of success if they merely rely on government support. They must have the originality and ingenuity to proactively find new opportunities on their own.
 中小企業が政府などの支援に頼るだけでは、展望は開けない。創意工夫で自ら活路を開く積極的な姿勢が求められよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 8, 2012)
(2012年7月8日01時13分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2012-07-11 07:09 | 英字新聞

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