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January 17, 1988

JAPANESE MISSIONS SCOUR AUSTRALIA FOR SOFTWARE OR IS IT PROPERTY?

By CBR Staff Writer

More interest being shown in Australian software by Japanese software houses, writes our Tokyo correspondent Anita Byrnes. A Buying Mission with representatives of 20 members of the Facom Software Association, a group of 65 Fujitsu-associated software houses, will set out in in early February. This follows the trip in November organised by Jetro, called the Japan-Australia High Technology Exchange Mission (in which I also participated, as an interpreter and guide for president of a Japanese software house who is currently in negotiation for the distributorship of an Australian package). But it is questionable whether these group tours are more than a junket for many of the participants – who may be more interested in shopping for property (Australia is big target for Japanese investment at moment) than for packages. Fujitsu however does invest in the Australian software industry through its Corporate Citizenship offsets programme, in which foreign companies selling products manufactured overseas voluntarily invest in Australian industry. About four software packages developed under that program have now found distributors in Japan, including an applications generation language called Manasys, a Programmers Toolkit, and Netmaster, the network management tool for SNA environments adopted worldwide by Cincom Systems Inc.

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