LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Colorado is on the map as a destination for international business thanks in part to a direct flight from Denver to Tokyo. The nonstop service started five years ago and is being credited with helping expand business opportunities in Japan and Asia.
"The Japanese have always been committed to innovation and they have a lot of pockets of companies where they have set up research and development entities here simply because they love the Colorado area," said Antoinette Gawin, Executive Vice President of Global Commercial for Terumo BCT.
Terumo BCT's global headquarters is located in Lakewood, Colo. but the company does business all over the world. Gawin takes the nonstop flight to Tokyo about six to seven times a year.
"And we have a manufacturing facility as an example behind our building here that is integrated with manufacturing facilities in Vietnam, in Japan, in other parts of the world, in Europe and that global footprint matters," said Gawin.
The company is known as a pioneer in blood technology, making equipment that helps collect and separate blood. Their products are often used to treat rare diseases. Gawin says the flight allows further innovation and collaboration.
In 2017, Japan ranked as Colorado's 4th-largest export market for merchandise goods. The country supports more than 7,000 jobs by being on of the largest investors in the state.
"United’s service to Tokyo raised awareness of Denver in the fastest growing region of the world, and has expanded our economy through increased trade, foreign investment and visitation," said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.