about fccj 


 contact us 

  ISSUE 14/2004

9 July, 2004  


At least if you are in Japan, you have been "enjoying" a fairy long period of very warm weather, we Finns here would call it hot! I think also the Japanese think it is a bit extraordinary; good friend of mine put it well:
"Like sauna without an exit".

As we do not have any activities in July because many of the Finns here are enjoying a cool summer in Finland, there's not that much to report this time, but at least something!

Report from the June Luncheon Meeting
Argo Kangro, Charge d'Affaires, Embassy of Estonia
The theme of Mr. Kangro's presentation was: Estonia in the expanded EU and it's cooperation with Nordic countries - Opportunities for Japan.

Mr. Kangro pointed out that the main events affecting Estonia now is the EU and Nato membership and a transfer of business from Western Europe to Eastern Europe. Although Estonia is not yet part of the euro area, it expects to join the monetary union in 2006 or 2007 as it already fulfills the requirements of the Maastricht treaty.

Estonia is a small country with a population of 1.4 million and the GDP per capita is still fairly low by European standard, 5,500 euro, but the GDP grew by 4.7 % in 2003 and is expected to continue growing at the same rate.

For more about Mr. Kangro's presentation and the the meeting, click link at right.
Results from the FCCJ Member Survey

The FCCJ Member Survey, which was conducted 4 - 18 June received 58 responses, which exceeded our expectations. The fairly large number of responses (taking into account the size of the chamber) gives us a good foundation to develop our activities according to to needs and desires of our members.
The board of FCCJ has already once studied the results and applied some of the findings already to the events schedule for the autumn. The full survey results will be presented to the members at an event late August, and also in the next issue of FCCJ News.

The graph at right shows the reasons why members join the FCCJ. Most important was the connection to the Finnish business community, followed by "source of information" and "business networking".

Among those who responded to the survey we have drawn a winner for a pair of tickets for the Scandinavian Xmas Party in December (value 30,000 yen) at the June luncheon meeting. The winner was Ryohei Yamamoto of Coil Center Fujita. Congratulations!

EBC White Paper 2004

The EBC's year 2003 white paper, "Promoting Foreign Investment Through Decisive Reform - The EBC Report on the Japanese Business Environment 2003", was produced last year thanks to the generous sponsorship of many committee members. Due to the high quality of the white papers, the EBC is now regarded as an authority on the Japanese business and investment environment and our participation in the EU-Japan Business Dialogue Round Table, at which our white paper is distributed as supportive documentation, is considered indispensable and has come to be expected. The Japanese Government is increasingly turning to the EBC for opinion and participation in hearings as well as requesting copies of the report.

The EBC will again produce English and Japanese white papers simultaneously for release in early November to coincide with the European Commission's regulatory reform dialogue with the Japanese Government. As this is the EBC's hallmark publication, once again, we are asking EBC members to sponsor the publication as "Blue-Star Sponsors," "Special Sponsors" or "Sponsors" in return for visible acknowledgment in the 2 volumes. Similar to last year, the EBC will also take orders for the white papers at 5,000 yen for one set (1 English and 1 Japanese version per set) to assist with cost-recovery.

  • Blue-Star Sponsorship: 150,000 yen ad up (Company name on a 2-name page)
  • Special Sponsorship: 100,000 yen (Company name on a 10-name page)
  • Sponsorship: 50,000 yen (Company name on a 20-name page)

  • 5,000 yen per set: 1 English copy and 1 Japanese copy (including postage)

    If you would like to support the white paper as sponsor and/or would like to order copies please click links below for order forms.
    We've Got You Covered:
    The EBC-MCE Executive Training Seminars
    "2-Day Business Writing Workshop"

    On October 7 and 8, the EBC will conduct the second of three executive training seminars being run in collaboration with the Management Centre of Europe, the European arm of the American Management Association. The second seminar, entitled "2-Day Business Writing Workshop," will be a two-day executive training session, including lunches, on October 7 and 8. This training seminar is designed for business professionals at all levels who want to communicate their ideas in writing more efficiently, effectively and professionally. Participants will learn how to streamline their writing process and save time by focusing on what to write instead of how to write it. For more information, refer to the following page on the AMA website: http://www.amanet.org/seminars/cmd2/2211.htm This seminar will be conducted by a certified expert, Ms. Sandra Sandu, who will be flown in from overseas.

    This seminar is being offered at a 10-15% lower cost than available elsewhere. Moreover, the EBC is offering an additional early bird discount for companies that register early. There will also be an additional overall 5% discount for companies signing up for all three seminars (to be applied at the time of registering for the 3rd session - same company, but different participants will be acceptable). A certificate of participation will be distributed at the completion of the training seminar. The fee for this two-day event is 126,000 yen (including tax) or 115,500 yen (including tax) for the early-bird discounted rate.

    For more information, registration form and Ms. Sandu's CV, click link below.
    News from Finland

    Rehn appointed EU commissioner

    Finland's Council of State appointed on Wednesday Olli Rehn (centre) to succeed Erkki Liikanen (soc dem), European Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society. Mr Liikanen takes up his duties as Bank of Finland governor on July 12th.

    The government further named Rehn, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen's (centre) economic affairs aide, Finland's candidate for the new Commission. The decision was unanimous.

    The Social Democratic Party (SDP), which last week named Sinikka Mönkäre, Minister for Social Affairs and Health, as its own commissioner hopeful, now backed the PMs candidate.

    Rehn's appointment initially expires when the Romano Prodi Commission calls it a day. However, Rehn will also be in the offing for the new collegiate, which starts work in November.
    Grin of the week

    Half-rate - half-true

    A popular airline recently introduced a special half rate fare for wives who accompanied their husbands on business trips. Expecting great feedback, the company sent out letters to all the wives of businessmen who had used the special rates, asking how they enjoyed their trip. Letters are still pouring in asking, "What trip?"
  • The next issue of this bulletin will be out early August when, among other things, I will report on our activities in the autumn.

    Have a nice weekend and if you are on, or starting your holiday now, hope it is a relaxing one!

    Best regards

    Clas G. Bystedt

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

    Open in browser >>

    This bulletin is published by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ) and distributed to over 550 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 72 corporate members, 15 individual and one special member.