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  ISSUE 23/2003

11 November, 2003  


It's a fairly busy November at the office. We have just completed the FCIG Business Confidence Survey, on Friday we organize the Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge and the preparations for the Scandinavian Christmas Party involves us on a daily, if not hourly basis, as we are in charge of the web site for the event.
Read more about these, and some more, below.

FCIG Business Confidence Survey Autumn 2003
Strong improvement in sentiments on economy
Presentation at Capitol Tokyu Hotel

The fourth edition of the Foreign Chambers Information Group's Business Confidence Survey was presented at a joint luncheon at the Capitol Tokyu Hotel on Friday 7 November.

This survey represents a significant improvement in the sentiments on the Japanese economy. For the coming 6 months the index rose from -0.32 in the April survey to +0.68 in this survey. In a scale from -2 to +2 a one point improvement is huge. No company expects a strong decline and only 3 % even a slight decline.

The companies continue to report good performance in their own business. Sales is growing and profitability is expected to further improve (index + 0.72 vs. + 0.55 in April); only 7 % of the companies forecast some decline in profitability, none of them a strong decline.

For more about the survey, including the full report, click link below.
StoraEnso Cup:
Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge

We have 15 players from FCCJ and 20 from SCCJ registered for Friday's golf challenge. There is still room for a couple of players, so if you are interested, please sign-up as soon as possible, but no later than tomorrow Wednesday.


Date & Time:Friday, 14 November (first tee-off 08.49)
Place: Narita High Tree, Chiba Pref.
Cost:20,000 yen (incl. play fee, lunch and party fee, tax)
Play format:Stroke play with HCP. Team score is calculated as average of the best 80% (net score) in each team

To register, click link below and give also you handicap and/or 3 latest scores.
Scandinavian Christmas Party 2003

The registration for the Scandinavian Christmas Party is now ongoing. At this moment we have registered 290 participants, 48 of those from FCCJ. Even though the capacity is 450 (of which 90 for FCCJ) the registrations are now coming in at a brisk pace. So to ensure your seat(s) at the party, it is recommended to sign up soon.

The recruitment of sponsors for the event is also on track, generally speaking. We have now 38 sponsors, out of which 7 are Gold and 8 Silver, which entitles them to a logo on the web site. However, FCCJ does not particularly shine in this respect. One Gold, one Silver, one Bronze and three Partrons. So to avoid embarrassment I hope many of our members would follow the good example shown by Finnair, Honka Japan, Vaisala, AvestaPolarit Japan, Kone and Seiwa Accounting Service and sign up as sponsors. The web site is attracting a lot of visitors, last week only we had 1,795 hits, and increasing rapidly.

To register, and/or sign up as sponsor, please visit the web site by clicking link below.
News from Finland

Pertti Huitu appointed Commissioner General to Nordic participation in Aichi Expo

Pertti Huitu has been appointed Commissioner General to the joint Nordic participation in the 2005 World Exhibition in Aichi, Japan. The decision was made by the project management team, which represents all five Nordic countries. In June 2003 Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland decided to have a joint representation in the World Exhibition in Japan.

Pertti Huitu is at the moment Head of Finpro India in New Delhi. He has long experience in international trade and export, has operated as President of Finpro / FFTA in 1983-1997, and as Commissioner General in the Expo 2000 Hanover.

Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Mauri Pekkarinen is very satisfied with Huitu's appointment. - With Pertti Huitu heading a joint Nordic project, we have engaged the best possible expertise, says minister Pekkarinen.
Grin of the week

Single Male Whisky

This is partly funny, partly serious....
The Economist organizes the "Seventh Roundtable with the Government of Japan" on 18 November at Hotel Okura. This is a full day event with prominent speakers including Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer, Atsushi Saito, President, Industrial Revitalisation Corporation of Japan (IRCJ), Mark Norbom, President & CEO, GE Japan, Osamu Watanabe, Chairman and CEO, JETRO, Haruo Kawahara, President and CEO, Kenwood, Michio Matsui, President, Matsui Securities, Kiyotaka Fujii, President & CEO, SAP Japan and Todd Todd Budge, President, Tokyo Star Bank.
What made this however qualify for the "Grin of the Week" was the list of sponsors. In an email from David Cox, Global Director, Economist Conferences it said:

Cocktail sponsor:
TALISKER single male whisky

This must be a "typo", right? Wouldn't think any company would on purpose limit their customer base to a fairly small group, unless of course it includes the MBA's I wrote about in an earlier bulletin (Married But Available)...

If you are interested in this conference, please click HERE.

A final note. The date for your traditional Christmas Luncheon at the Embassy has been set. It is going to be held on Tuesday 16 December. More information about this in my next bulletin. Until then...

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 500 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.