Toshiba executive touts international partnerships

November 17, 1992|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Staff Writer

A top official of the Japanese electronics company, Toshiba Corp., said yesterday that the best way to expand internationally is to find partners in other countries.

"This kind of international relationship is ideal for the 21st century," said Tsuyoshi Kawanishi, senior executive vice president for Toshiba.

He made his remarks at a breakfast titled U.S.-Japan Friendship Celebration at the BWI Airport Marriott Hotel. The breakfast kicked off a day of seminars on advances in engineering sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

The occasion was also used by Peter J. Tsakanikas, a Gaithersburg inventor, who held a press conference after the breakfast accusing Japanese manufacturers of infringing on his patent for a device used in most facsimile machines. He said the companies owe him $208 million in royalties.

Mr. Kawanishi said two traditional ways of expanding international markets include exporting products to other countries or establishing foreign subsidiaries.

The first method of exporting can result in trade imbalances with the other country and difficulties "caused by differing interests and emotional factors."

While the second method -- creating overseas subsidiaries -- seems to overcome some of the problems associated with exporting, there are other problems involved in coordinating a worldwide operation, Mr. Kawanishi said.

A third alternative is the "transnational" option of "cooperating with strong partners to secure mutual prosperity," he said.

"In this context, cooperation denotes a relationship between equals,one based on mutual respect, trust and patience," Mr. Kawanishi said. "Through cooperation, the partner's capabilities are not added together; they are multiplied."

He pointed to three joint ventures that Toshiba has with Motorola Inc., International Business Machine Corp. and Siemens AG. "As we approach the 21st century, Toshiba has been trying to establish a new kind of international relationship," Mr. Kawanishi said. "This has led us to emphasize sharing rather than presence, and to seek to enhance transnational relationships based on borderless partnerships."

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