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Brussels, 10 March 2008

Successful Executive Training Programme to Japan and Korea opens again: Opportunity for 60 European managers

60 European managers will have the opportunity of succeeding in the Japanese and Korean markets thanks to the new cycle of the Executive Training Programme (ETP), launched by the European Commission today. The programme is targeted at European managers who want to develop business with Japan and Korea. ETP is a unique intensive professional development programme designed to provide EU companies with the knowledge and skills needed to make the most of their business opportunities in Japan and Korea.

Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said: "The Executive Training Programme is an excellent way for European business to take advantage of the continuing trade and investment opportunities offered in Japan and Korea in the years to come. It offers insight and understanding of markets and will serve as a gateway to increased European presence in Asia."

The ETP has been one of the most successful EU programmes in Japan for more than a quarter of a century. The European Commission expanded the ETP to also cover Korea from 2002. To date, around 1,000 European managers from a variety of sectors have graduated from ETP. The participating companies range from small and medium sized enterprises to the largest European groups. The ETP alumni are a very effective business network in Japan and Korea. Sponsoring companies have indicated that participation of their staff in the ETP has increased their understanding of that market, has improved their access to the market and had an impact on their presence in that market. On average, participating companies have doubled their turnover with Japan within ten years of following the ETP.

What is the ETP?

The ETP is a one-year professional development programme, offering EU companies a detailed insight into the Japanese and Korean economy, language and business culture. The participants follow:

  • Three months of intensive seminars in Europe;
  • Six months of advanced language and business culture training in Tokyo or Seoul
  • Three months of internship in a Japanese or Korean-based company.

The curriculum of the ETP is provided by a consortium of internationally recognised universities:

  • Sciences Po in Paris
  • SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan
  • The School of Oriental and African Studies in London
  • Waseda University in Tokyo
  • Yonsei University in Seoul

Paul Atkinson, from the UK, is one of the over 1,000 European executives that have taken part in the ETP over the last 29 years. Commenting on his experience, he said: “Executives who participate in ETP have a serious competitive advantage. Being out of your company for one year is a big commitment, both for your company and personally. But at the end of that year, you are left with the best tools to operate successfully and competently in that market.”

Why Japan and Korea?

Japan and Korea are two of the largest economies in the world and offer a wealth of opportunities for European businesses. Japan, the second biggest national economy in the world, is the fifth largest trade partner of the EU. Korea is one of the most dynamic economies in the OECD: it is now the twelfth largest national economy in the world and the EU has become the largest source of foreign direct investment in Korea.

How to apply?
There are only 45 places available for ETP Japan and 15 for ETP Korea! The application period starts now and the deadline for applications is 30 September 2008. The training period will run from March 2009 to March 2010. More details about the programme, the requirements and the application form can be found on the website:

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