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  ISSUE 35/2002

4 December, 2002  

Dear Mr Bystedt,

It's raining water in Tokyo....
"Raining water".. no, it's not a typo, I wrote it on purpose, because it came to my mind that it is rather strange that in Finnish, you have to use two words for raining; sataa vettä. In summer, you could normally just say sataa for raining, but this time of the year you never know if it is raining of snowing (sataa lunta) in Finland.
Why didn't anybody invent one word for raining or snowing in Finnish? There could be substatial savings, think about how much Finns talk about weather and how often it is either snowing or raining.
But perhaps our paper industry wouldn't like the idea, every Finnish book would be a couple of pages shorter....

Report from Joint Scandinavian Luncheon Meeting
Keijo Suila
At the Joint Scandinavian luncheon meeting on 2 December we had one of the most prominent Finnish business executives as our guest speaker, Finnair President and CEO, Keijo Suila. Mr. Suila was also recently appointed new chairman of the oneworld alliance.
In his presentation, Mr. Suila noted that the recovery for airlines should still be put with a question mark, and there will be winners and loosers among the airlines. Even if volumes rise in both passenger numbers and cargo, revenues are in many cases not. The airlines have not been able to control their own destiny, there's still overcapacity and inefficiency.
This year, the US airlines will still be in red, the European are improving but the best results some of the Asian airlines are showing.
As for Finnair, Mr. Suila told that they are put emphasis on financial strenght and product superiority, and they are doing well in both fields, i.e. they are almost debt-free and have been named by IATA as the airline with best value for money.

For more about the meeting, which was attended by 55 persons, click link at right
Christmas Luncheon Meeting
The traditional FCCJ Christmas Luncheon is again this year held at our Embassy, were we can enjoy a Finnish style Christmas buffet prepared by the Embassy's chef.

Here are the details:
Date & Time:Wednesday, 18 December, 2002,
Place: Embassy of Finland (3-5-39, Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo)  MAP 
Cost:7,000 yen (collected at the door)
Registration:by Monday, 16 December

H.E. Mr. Eero Salovaara, Ambassador of Finland to Japan, will brief us on current issues in Japan-Finland relations and we will also get information from the Finnish Institute in Japan and the Embassy's Press Section on the Feel Finland campaign, which will be launched next year.

Please note that we will collect the luncheon fee of 7,000 yen at the Embassy and provide you with receipt. Note also that we have to invoice the lunch fee for cancellations later than 17 December and "no-shows".

If you would like to attend, please click link at right.
EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation seminar:
Outsourcing IT to China for the Smart Company in Japan
By William Wang, VP Project Consulting Services, BITOC KK
The Chinese software industry grew rapidly in the 90's and has now reached a sizeable level of activity compared to the rest of the world. The estimated average growth rate of annual sales in China topped 30.7 in 1994, and 42 in 2001, which exceed the average growth rate of the rest of the world during the same period (about 15-20).
This seminar is targeted to IT-related personnel, CIOs and CEOs who are interested in looking for cheaper and better IT solutions. Topics to be addressed by the speaker will include:
1)What are the current trends in IT service outsourcing to China?
2)How can domestic/foreign companies in Japan take advantage of Chinese IT expertise?

Seminar Details:
Date & Time: Friday 6 December 2002 , 18:00-20:00 + coffee
Place: to be confirmed
Registration:first-come first-served

For more information and registration, click link at right,
Challenges to Growth & Investment
The EBC Report on the Japanese Business Environment 2002
The EBC's year 2002 White Paper, "Challenges to Growth & Investment - The EBC Report on the Japanese Business Environment 2002", was launched on 22 November 22 at the Keidanren Hall.

Get this up-to-date assessment of the business environment in Japan from a European perspective. A set of one English and one Japanese copy is 5,000 yen (including postage).

To purchase the White Paper, click link at right for an order form.
Juhana Häkkänen
New President at Vaisala K.K.

Juhana Häkkänen (35) has been appointed President and Representative Director of Vaisala KK as of December 3, 2002.
Mr. Häkkänen joined Vaisala KK in February 2000 as Business and Process Development Manager (SSD-Sensor System Division) and was appointed General Manager of SSD in September 2000.

Vaisala develops and manufactures electronic measurement systems and equipment for meteorology and the environmental sciences, traffic safety and industry.

News from Finland
Nokia expects solid growth in the mobile handset industry in 2003
The company expects 10% or slightly more handset market growth in 2003 - while anticipating a challenging industry environment in wireless infrastructure to continue.

At the company's bi-annual strategy meeting for investors on Tuesday in Irving, Texas, Nokia management reinforced its confidence in the continued growth of the mobile handset industry in 2003. At the same time, the company expects continued challenges in the wireless infrastructure industry in 2003.

Jorma Ollila, Chairman and CEO said, "As industry growth dynamics change, Nokia is the company best positioned to capitalize on the opportunities ahead. We see growth potential in new product categories especially in games, imaging and the enterprise market in which we can extend our strong brand, technology prowess and manufacturing scalability. We believe we have gained global handset market share in 2002, bringing us even closer to our target of 40%."
Grin of the Week

A Worldwide Survey

Last month, a worldwide survey was conducted by the UN. The only question asked was: "Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?"
The survey was a huge failure.

  • In Africa they didn't know what "food" meant.
  • In Eastern Europe they didn't know what "honest" meant.
  • In Western Europe they didn't know what "shortage" meant.
  • In China they didn't know what "opinion" meant.
  • In the Middle East they didn't know what "solution" meant.
  • In South America they didn't know what "please" meant.
  • And in the USA they didn't know what "the rest of the world" meant.
  • Thanks Sisko for that story. I don't tell her last name, nor the company she works for. But might be that my readers at Nokia knows this story already....

    One last note; The Scandinavian Christmas Party is going to be a big success also this year. We have about 480 participants, of them 96 from FCCJ (last year 78). If you still would like to join, we have a couple of seats left.

    Best regards

    Clas G. Bystedt

    If you have any comments, rumors, gossip or inside information,
    send it to: fccj@gol.com

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    This bulletin is published by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ) and distributed to over 400 recipients among its members and related organizations.
    FCCJ was established in April 1999 to promote trade and economic exchange between Japan and Finland and has today 71 corporate members.