JETRO article 1997
Year Established: 1984
Number of Employees: 9
Products: Technical advice and materials
for energy efficient homes
Annual Sales: $3.5 million
Export sales to Japan: 3.5 million
K. Ito and Associates provide a different
sort of product to Japan. While they
shipments of building products such
furniture and windows, they mainly
Japan with technological advice and
about building well-insulated, energy-efficient
"Our concept is to provide the whole
scheme of Canadian housing technology,"
says President Kimi Ito.
In 1984, Ito saw a need in the Japanese market
to import some of Canada's building
and practices. "In Japan, they
times what we pay in Canada for their
Canada is very advanced in building
efficient homes - homes that are airtight
with high insulation," says Ito.
The exporting of technology does not end
when the homes are designed and built.
Ito and Associates also provide advice
the installation and proper maintenance
K. Ito and Associates became involved with
JETRO five years ago to help expand
business in Japan. Since that time,
has helped Ito and many of his clients
by subsidizing an import housing display.
"That display has been very helpful,"
says Ito. "It is still standing
and draws a lot of crowds and attention.
It's company and clients also participated
in the Canada Comfort Direct exhibit,
trade show put together by the BC Trade
and supported by JETRO. Additionally,
notes that the JETRO seminars on Japanese
culture and business are extremely
The company has been very successful in the
Japanese market. Ito himself is in
as an expert on building technology
invited by JETRO to be its keynote
at a seminar. He also writes articles
various Japanese publications, and
for a local Vancouver Entrepreneur
Ito advises Canadian companies seeking to
do business in Japan to learn more
the culture. "In Japan, culture
in their business. To learn the business
culture is not an easy task, but you
a lot going over there," says
"JETRO also sends a lot of delegates
to Canada," adds Ito. "And
they are government-owned, JETRO is
endorsement for Canadian companies."
The future for K. Ito and Associates in the
Japanese market is quite good. They
to expand their business by studying
upgrading new housing technology which
can forward to Japan. "In 1996,
built 1.6 million units of houses,"
says Ito. "There is good potential