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  ISSUE 3/2008 28 January, 2008  

Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

The first month of 2008 has been dominated by very volatile markets, to say the least. Despite the fact that the Japanese financial institution has not been very much directly affected by the sub-prime mess, one of the heaviest looser in the stock markets is the Nikkei, which, as can be seen in the graph at right, has lost a quarter of its value in 6 months.

From the point of view of Finnish operators in Japan, however, the strengthening of the yen against the euro can be seen as a positive result of this turmoil. Remains to be seen what the next few months brings in this respect. I am not qualified to make any prediction but there are rumors that a seasoned Finnish businessman in Japan and a younger member of our community have made a bet for a bottle of Koskenkorva on whether the euro will be below or above 150 yen by the end of the year. I will report on who is the winner when we know the fact!

Repost from Luncheon Meeting with Dr. Vesa Vihriälä
At our first luncheon meeting in 2008, held on Tuesday the 22th of January, we had a prominent speaker from Finland, Dr. Vesa Vihriälä, State Under-Secretary, Economic Affairs, Secretariat of the Economic Council. Dr. Vihriälä spoke about "Finland's growth policy in the age of globalisation".

In his presentation Dr. Vihriälä first gave an overview of the long perspective of Finnish growth policy, where education, R&D, and innovation moved into the centre stage.

He then moved on to the triple challenges for Finland: globalisation, ageing, and climate change and Dr Vihriälä pointed out that there is a need for further reform in Finland to meet these challenges.

For more about the meeting, attended by 28 members and guests, click link at right.

Wednesday, 6 February - Joint Chamber Event organized by the BLCCJ
Richard Collasse, Chairman of the European Business Council (EBC)

The Vision for an Economic Integration Agreement between Japan and the EU

The Belgium-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BLCCJ) organizes a joint chambers' breakfast meeting on Wednesday, 6 February where Mr. Richard Collasse, Chairman of the EBC, will outline the EBC's vision for an EU-Japan Economic Integration Agreement.

An increasing number of countries are forming such agreements. The EBC sees this as a unique opportunity to achieve a significant breakthrough in improving access to the Japanese market.

For those of you who are trying to increase your business in Japan, this presentation is an excellent opportunity to see what could be done to support you. At the same time, you can hear about the EBC's role and directly ask any questions you may have.

Date & Time:Wednesday, 6 February, 08.15-10.00
Venue: The Westin Tokyo, Galaxy Room, B2F   MAP
Cost:5,000 yen
Registration:by Friday, 1 February

For more information and registration form, please click link below. Please note that you should register directly with the BLCCJ.
Thursday, 14 February - Joint EBC, ACCJ and ANZCCJ Event
Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of IATA

Future Flying--Changing the Way We Travel

The European Business Council in Japan (EBC), the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) and the Australia- New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ANZCCJ) has the pleasure to invite to a joint luncheon with Mr. Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of IATA under the title: "Future Flying--Changing the Way We Travel"

Giovanni Bisignani, the outspoken Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has a clear vision. Air transport must be safe, secure, efficient, convenient and a role model of environmental responsibility. It must also be able to compete like any other business infrastructure. But with oil prices hitting record highs and an uncertain economic outlook in 2008, air transport continues to be a tough business.

Nonetheless, IATA's vision is delivering results. From reducing carbon emissions via efficient routes to increasing convenience with e-ticketing and improving safety, IATA is bringing vital change to the way the world connects with air travel. With a national policy to promote tourism, an ongoing airport privatization process and with major infrastructure projects nearing completion, Japan has a tremendous opportunity to play an important role in industry change. Bisignani will deliver a frank discussion on where the industry is and what still needs to be done

Date & Time:Thursday, 14 February, 12.00-14.00
Venue: The Westin Tokyo, Star Room, B2F   MAP
Cost:5,900 yen
Registration:by Friday, 8 February

Please register to ACCJ office with the attached reply form (click link below). For further information contact Ms. Kyoko Fujii at ACCJ, kfujii@accj.or.jp, tel. 03-3433-8545 (Direct)
Wednesday, 20 February - FCCJ Special Event
FCCJ Tax Seminar for Foreign-Affiliated Companies

To give you an insight in the Japanese taxation, and some valuable tips, FCCJ organizes a tax seminar on Wednesday, 20, February were Mr. Yoshinori Sano, Certified Public Accountant (Azabu Tax Corporation), FCCJ board member and well known among the Finnish business community, is our expert on these issues.

Note that Mr. Sano will cover both individual and corporation tax issues.

Date & Time:Wednesday, 20 February, 18.00-20.00
Venue: Stora Enso Japan K. K., Meeting Room, 5 Fl.
Sumitomo Fudosan Kojimachi Bldg. No. 3
3-6, Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku, TOKYO
Cost:3,000 yen incl. light meal and refreshments
(collected at the door)
Registration:by Monday, 18 February
Note: due to space limitations, this is a member only event.

The participation is limited to 20 persons. In case you would like to attend and have not yet resistered, please do so as soon as possible by clicking link at right.
News from Finland

Nokia says market share up at 40 pct in final quarter

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia said Thursday its final-quarter global handset market share had risen to 40 per cent from 36 per cent in the year-ago period and 39 per cent in the third quarter of last year.

"Nokia's excellent fourth quarter contributed to a year of high growth and increased profitability for the company, while our industry-leading portfolio drove our device business to an estimated 40-per cent market share in the fourth quarter," said in a statement Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, the chief executive of the Espoo-based giant.

Nokia reported its October-to-December pretax profit rising to about 2.57 billion euros from the year-ago 1.57 billion on sales of some 15.72 billion euros, comparing with about 11.70 billion in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Grins of the week

It ain't what you think

An off-duty police officer, familiar with radar guns, drove through a school zone within the legal speed limit when the flash of a camera went off, taking a picture of his license plate.

The officer, thinking the radar was in error, drove by again; even more slowly. Another flash. He did it again for a third time, at an even slower speed. Same result.

"This guy must have messed up the settings," the off-duty officer thought.

A few weeks later, when he received the violations in the mail, he discovered three traffic tickets:

Each for not wearing a seat belt!

Have a nice week &
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 600 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, 16 individual and one special member.