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  ISSUE 36/2017 20 December 2017 
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

As the holiday season is closing in, this will be my last bulletin in 2017 (the 36th) and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our members and other readers of my bulletin for all your support and good cooperation this year and wish you:

Note that the FCCJ office will be closed from 21 December (afternoon) to 9 January.
I will read my mails occasionally during this time but cannot promise immediate response.

Our first event in 2018 is the traditional "Shinnenkai" (New Year) Club Evening at the Scandinavian Center on Wednesday, 31 January, see more details below.


Our "Aoyama View" columnist has provided his last article for this year. This time titled "Look back at 2017: commotion around Japan, but steady and safe here". As the title suggest, the article covers what happened in Japan and around the world in 2017. Click banner at right to find out more!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 - Club Evening
FCCJ Sinnenkai Party at the Sandinavian Center

Our first event in 2018 will be a "Shinnenkai" Club Evening, held on Wednesday, 31 January. Come and meet old and new friends in a relaxing atmosphere accompanied by food and drinks!

Pekka Laitinen will inform us of the newly established Business Finland which will be created on 1 January 2018 through the merger of Finpro and Tekes.

We encourage you also to invite other members of your staff and/or your spouse!

Details:
 
Date & Time:Wednesday, 31 January, 18:30-21:00
Place: Scandinavian Center
2-18-12, Akasaka Minato-ku, Tokyo [MAP]
Cost:Members: 4,000 yen, non-members: 6,000 yen (collected at the door)
Including buffet and free flowing drinks
Registration:by Monday, 29 January

Please note that we will collect the fee at the door and provide you with a receipt. Late cancellations and no-shows will be invoiced.

Click link at right to sign-up for the event.
Saturday, 26 - Sunday, 27 January
The 3rd Inter-Chamber Ski-Race in Hakuba


The Austrian Business Council organizes a cross-chamber ski race + family fun event in Happo-One, Hakuba, Nagano Pref. on Saturday, 26 and Sunday, 27 January. This time includes the Canadian, German, Swedish, Swiss, Norway and Belgium/Luxembourg chambers, besides the ABC and the Japan-Austria Society. Ski, snow, fun, race, family and friends - the key words for the event are the same as usual!

Enjoy the friendly competition of an international ski race and after party. Children of all ages are welcome!

Participation Fees:
Race:               2,500 yen per adult, JPY 1,250 for minors under 20
Award Party:    5,000 yen over 12 years old, 2,500 yen for children up
                         to 12 years old and free for children under 3 years old.

For more information and instuctions on how to register, click link at right.
Information from the EBC
EU-Japan EPA Agreement
As you have no doubt read in the media, the EU and Japan finally concluded the EU-Japan EPA in Brussels on Friday, 8 December.

This agreement comes more than ten years after the EBC first requested the EU and Japanese Authorities to negotiate an economic integration agreement. Throughout this period, the EBC provided significant input and recommendations and will continue to be engaged by monitoring its implementation. The agreement is due to come into effect during 2019.

The content of the agreement is comprehensive and deep and covers many of the non-tariff barriers submitted by the EBC to the EU negotiators. We compliment the European Commission negotiators on their success.

The full text of the agreement can be found at the following link: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1684

A joint statement can be found at:
http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1768

A press release can be found at:
http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1767


News from Finland

Continued economic upswing expected

The latest survey from the Ministry of Finance forecasts that the Finnish economy will grow by 2.4 percent in 2018 which it says means an increase in employment, a decline in the general government deficit and slower growth in the state's debt burden.

The Ministry of Finance's forecast shows that Finland will post a GDP growth figure of 3.1 percent for the full year 2017, and that the growth rate will then slow to around 2 percent.

Foreign trade and domestic demand are expected to be the main drivers in the economy over the next few years.

Boost in employment
Employment growth will accelerate to 1 percent and the earnings level in the coming year is forecast to rise by 2 percent, assuming that the forthcoming pay settlements are in line with agreements already made.

The Ministry of Finance survey says that private consumption growth next year will be driven by higher earnings and a rising employment rate. Investment of all types will increase, and the boom in housing construction shows no signs of slowing down.

In 2019, the Ministry expects Finland's GDP to grow by 1.9 percent. GDP growth will slow the rise in the state's debt burden but will not eliminate the general government deficit.
Grin of the Week

This is how it happened around Christmas time...

The three wise men are out for a stroll when they come across a stable. The three of them decide to duck inside.

On the way in one of the wise men hits his head on the low entranceway. "Jesus Christ!" he says.

Joseph says, "Quick, Mary, write that down! It's a lot better than Clyde!"
Best regards

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

ABOUT THIS BULLETIN
This bulletin is published by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ) and distributed to over 700 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 64 corporate members, 12 individual and one special member.