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  ISSUE 11/2011 27 April 2011  
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

A couple of very busy week with a lot of events, as you could see from all the reports below. But now we take a short break fro the Golden Week, so the FCCJ office will be closed tomorrow and through the Golden Week.

Please note that our next event will be a Luncheon Meeting on Tuesday, 24 May with the Finnair President and CEO, Mika Vehviläinen as our guest speaker. I will send more info in my next bulletin, but mark the date in your calendar already now! Or, if you would like to sign up already now, click here.

The main news this time is that we have finalized the report from the 19th edition of the Foreign Business Confidence Survey. This time we had, apart from our regular items, also several questions about the disaster and its effects. So some very interesting findings in the report, check below for more!

We also have a very fresh contribution from our Japan veteran in Finnish business on Aoyama dori in his column "Aoyama View", this time titled "Getting back to "normal" ". Click banner at right for an educating read of the current situation and challenges ahead in Japan!

The 19th Foreign Chambers Business Confidence Survey
"Rays of Optimism - Rebounding from the Disaster"

The Foreign Chambers in Japan (FCIJ) has been conducting Business Confidence surveys online twice a year since 2002 among foreign-affiliated companies in Japan. The the nineteenth, survey was conducted between April 12 and 22, 2011, and received 437 valid responses, an increase of 52% compared to the previous survey in October 2010.
. The survey was run and processed on behalf of all the chambers by the FCCJ.

Inevitably, the 3/11 disaster had a significant influence on the results of this survey, especially regarding the outlook for the economy and the companiesf business performance in a shorter tern (6 months). Compared to the previous survey (Fall 2010), this survey shows an uncertainty about the economic situation in Japan, especially in the short term.

The reported sales performance in the past six months was almost unchanged from the previous, +0.61 compared to +0.64 the fall survey. Similarly, the profitability had also improved, +0.59 now compared to +0.63. But the sales forecast inevitably plummeted because of the disaster, the index for the coming six months was -0.14 (previous survey +0.88) and that for profitability also -0.14 (+0.60).

Despite the current uncertainties, the strategies of the foreign-affiliated companies in Japan continue to be rather bullish. 65% are looking for further growth and 29% expecting to sustain their current level. 5% are planning to downsize, but only 1% (four companies out of the surveyed 437) are considering withdrawing from the market.

The survey also included this time five questions related to the disaster. One notable finding here was that currently 96% of the companies are back to normal (or almost normal) operations.
For the full report, clock link at right.

Stora Enso's Tuomo Kuuppo (left) presents the trophy to Kimio Hashida (no.3), FCCJ President Marko Saarelainen (no. 1) and Akihiro Takano (no. 2).
Report from the Stora Enso Cup

The 18th Stora Enso Cup, the golf challenge between the Swedish and Finnish Chambers was played on Friday, 22 April at Taiheiyo Club Gotemba West in Shuzuoka Prefecture. The event was played in nice spring weather, mostly cloudy, but warm enough for a fine day of golf.

35 players participated in the competition (22 from FCCJ , 13 from SCCJ), including four guests. Notable was that 20 of the players were Japanese.

The Finnish Chamber came on top now for the sixth time in a row, this time beating the Swedish Chamber by a large margin, 5.3 strokes on average per player, 78.7 versus 84.0 as average for the best 80% in each team. The FCCJ now has two more win than the SCCJ, 10 against 8. For more about the event, click link at right.

Report from the Joint Nordic Business Luncheon with
Mr. Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO of SAS

On the occasion of a visit to Japan by the new President and CEO of the SAS Group, Mr. Rickard Gustafson, the Swedish Chamber ( SCCJ) invited other Nordic Chambers to a business luncheon on Wednesday, 27 April (today). The theme of Mr. Gustafsson's presentation was: "SAS today and tomorrow".

Mr. Gustafsson started his speech by explaning why he joined SAS; the airline industry is fascinating and the competition is tough. It also bonds countries and continents and SAS is an icon in the Scandinavian business environment

SAS celebrates this year 60 years of operation to Japan, and Mr. Gustafsson said that look forward to continue 60 years more. He also said that the future strategies will be formulated this summer, so it is too early to give any details now. But the objective is to get more profitability to growth and provide a great customer experience.

The event was attended by 55 members and guests from three Nordic Chambers, including 8 from the FCCJ.

For a report from the event, click link at right.

Report from the Joint Chamber Event - Giving Back to Japan

On Monday, 25 April the Dutch Camber (NCCJ) organized in cooperation with 12 other foreign chambers a special event tailored to help companies respond effectively to Japan's worst natural disaster in modern history.

There were presentations from a range of organizations engaged in relief efforts and reconstruction followed by a networking buffet which gave the 200 participants an opportunity to communicate directly with the presenters and fellow participants.

The event was sponsored by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Unilever so it was free for the participants, who, however, where expected to make a donation at the door. This brought in 675,000 yen which will be donated to the charities present.

For more images from the event, click link at right.

Report from the Joint European Luncheon Meeting with EU Ambassador Hans Dietmar Schweissgut

The Austrian Business Council organized in cooperation with the Chambers of Commerce of Belgium-Luxembourg, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland a luncheon meeting on Thursday, 21 April with Mr. Hans Dietmar Schweisgut, the new EU Ambassador to Japan, as the guest speaker.

In his speech Mr. Schweisgut addressed issues of the future EU-Japan cooperation, cooperation of the EU delegation with the EBC and relevance of business topics for the Delegation's activities.

After the presenation there was a lively Q&A session.

For more images from the event, attended by 160 members from 13 chambers incl. 8 from the FCCJ, click link at right.

News from Finland

Nokia's Elop expects challenging second quarter

Nokia reported on 21 April a first-quarter pretax profit of about 403 million euros, down from some 411 million in the year-ago period, with earnings per share unchanged at nine cents.

Nokia said its preliminary estimate of its handset market share in the first quarter was 29 per cent, down from an estimated 33 per cent in the year-ago period and an estimated 31 per cent in the final quarter of last year.

Nokia's estimate of its first-quarter smartphone market share is 26 per cent, down from 41 per cent in the first quarter of last year.

Stephen Elop, the managing director, described Nokia's January-to-March performance as solid but warned that more challenging times lay ahead.

"In the first quarter, we shifted from defining our strategy to executing our strategy. On this front, I am pleased to report that we signed our definitive agreement with Microsoft and already our product design and engineering work is well under way. Following a solid first quarter, we expect a more challenging second quarter", Elop said in a statement.

Have a great Golden Week and
Best regards

Clas G. Bystedt
If you have any comments, rumors, gossip or inside information,
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This bulletin is published by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ) and distributed to over 650 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 62 corporate members, 16 individual and one special member.