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  ISSUE 16/2002

8 May, 2002  


Yes, we lost against the Swedes' again....
Last week I wrote about the Ice Hockey World Championships, and yes, Sweden beat Finland, 4-2. But fortunately it was still the qualifying tournament, and both teams qualified for the final round were Finland got the better of USA last night to reach semifinals against Russia.
But to this weeks businesses....

FCIG Business Confidence Survey Luncheon
The The Foreign Chambers Information Group (FCIG) conducted the first online survey to provide member organizations some insight into what their members think about the current state of the Japanese economy and their own businesses, to note problems in the Japanese market and future plans, to assess how foreign companies view the Japanese market, and to obtain reliable data on how foreign companies perform in Japan.

The survey, based on a format developed by the FCCJ, was sent to 14 organizations representing 2,200 foreign affiliated companies and generated 450 valid responses. Participating organizations included the ACCJ (American), Austrian Business Council, BLCCJ (Belgium-Luxembourg), BCCJ (British), CCCJ (Canadian), DCCJ (Danish), Embassy of Spain, Enterprise Ireland, FCCJ, CCIFJ (French), NCCJ (Dutch), Norwegian Business Forum, and SCCJ (Swedish).

The results of the survey will be presented at a joint luncheon with members form all 14 organizations. Representatives for Embassies, EBC and the EU Commission, as well as the press, will also be invited.
Here are the details:
Date & Time:Wednesday, 15 May , 12:00-14:00
Place: Capitol Tokyu Hotel, B2F, White Pearl Room
Cost:7,000 yen (will be invoiced)
Registration:by Friday, 10 May, click link at right.
Come and listen to the opinions of the foreign business community in Japan on the developments in the Japanese economy, their own businesses and also views on the regulatory environment.

May Luncheon Meeting
Jaakko Iloniemi

Our May Luncheon meeting will be held on Tuesday, 21 May (12:00-14:00) at the Capitol Tokyu Hotel, B2 Floor, Take Room.
On that occasion, our guest speaker will be a prominent expert and opinion leader on the Finnish economy and society, Minister Jaakko Iloniemi. His theme will be: "Finland's Economy and Future".

Jaakko Iloniemi was born in 1930 in Helsinki and graduated from Helsinki University as Master of Political Science in 1957, and was appinted Doctor of Political Science h.c. in 2000.
In 1994 he was awarded the honorary title of Minister by the President of Finland.
His distinguished career include:
  • 1973-1975 Ambassador a Chief Negotiator at the CSSE
  • 1977-1983 Ambassador to Washington D.C.
  • 1983-1990 General Manager and Board Member at Union Bank of Finland
  • 1990-1999 Managing Director of the Centre for Finnish Business and Policy Studies (EVA)
  • 2000-    Project Director, Millenium Prize, SITRA
  • 1997-    Chancellor, Order of the White Rose of Finland and Order of the Lion of Finland
Please note that we will collect the luncheon fee of 7,000 yen at the door and provide you with receipt. Note also that we have to invoice the lunch fee for cancellations later than 20 May and "no-shows".
To register, at latest Friday 17 May, click link at right.
Joint Chamber Guest Speaker Luncheon
Creating New Business Opportunities to Build a New Osaka
Governor Fusae Ota, Osaka Prefectural Government
Osaka is home to a number of high-profile foreign companies, including the new Universal Studios Japan entertainment park, and has a GDP equivalent to Australia's. The region continues to attract foreign investment through its many research facilities and universities and offers excellent government-industry alliance opportunities and support for foreign businesses through the Osaka Business and Investment Center. Governor Ota will discuss the many opportunities for foreign businesses in Osaka and outline how the government is prepared to assist foreign firms in the region.

Before serving as Osaka governor, Fusae Ota worked at the national government level, joining the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (now METI) in 1975. She holds a degree in economics from the University of Tokyo.

Date & Time:Monday, 3 June , 12:00-13:30
Place: Akasaka Prince Hotel Shinryoku Room (Goshiki Centre 1F)
Cost:6,000 yen for members, 7,000 yen for guests (will be invoiced)
Registration:by Friday, 24 May, click link at right.

EBC e-Commerce Committee
e-Japan strategy - what is the current situation?
The EBC e-Commerce Committee is holding a meeting on the topic of the Government of Japan's current e-strategy in the three areas of : e-commerce, digital signatures & certification services, and e- government.

The speaker will be Mr. Shuichi Inada, Director, Advanced Information Systems & Software Division, Information and Communications Policy Bureau of Somusho (Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and telecommunications).

Date & Time:Friday, 24 May , 9:00-10:30
Place: Europa House 3 F meeting room
Cost:1,000 yen (at the door)

For more information, click link at right.
News from Finland
Mood bright, output shakey
For the first time since the beginning of 2000, optimistic firms outnumber the pessimists, industry and employer's federation TT said. Its April survey showed a sharp rise in confidence since February as companies reported shrinking stocks and firmer orders and sales expectations.

But as industrial output slowed to a 1.6 pct rise in March, against February's 2 pct, TT warned that there were still considerable risks that a steady upturn might be far off. The recovery has been slower than foreseen last autumn, TT said.

Consumers too are more circumspect: Statistics Finland said whilst job prospects improved in April, consumers' belief in their own as well as the country's financial prospects had waned slightly.
Grin of the Week
Politically Correct Statements for the New Century
  • You're not late, you just have a "rescheduled arrival time."
  • No one's tall anymore. They're "vertically enhanced."
  • You're not shy. You're "conversationally selective."
  • You don't talk a lot. You're just "abundantly verbal."
  • It's not called gossip anymore. It's "the speedy transmission of near-factual information."
  • Back to sports...
    The World Cup is just around the corner. Unfortunately, *this time*, Finland is not part of this big sporting event but in any case we have dedicated our June luncheon meeting for the World Cup. The President and Secretary General of the Finnish Football Federation will give their views on the tournament, and perhaps explain how Finland is going to qualify for the next World Cup. The date for this meeting is Thursday 27 June, so mark this in your calendar already now!

    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 360 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.