This month we look back on 2017, a year of growth for ANZCCJ. The Chamber has reached new heights in membership, event participation and industry influence. Our corporate membership is up 12% from last year, with significant growth in the sports, tourism and hospitality sectors. We have hosted more events than ever before, and significantly expanded our reach through our media platforms. Our full membership and sponsorship summary can be found here.
Growth can also be seen in Australia/ New Zealand – Japan relations in a broader sense. Earlier this year, ANZCCJ made a submission to the Foreign Policy White Paper 2017by addressing key challenges for Australian and New Zealand businesses in Japan. It was found that there is a lack of on-ground presence of Australian and New Zealand companies in Japan, impeding business growth prospects and the potential to deepen business relations. There is also a clear lack of understanding about Australian products among Japanese consumers. Research has shown that consumers perceive our product offerings to be lacking in sophistication, primarily comprising of raw materials and ingredients.
The Australian Government’s Foreign Policy White Paper 2017 has since been released and has addressed these concerns. Japan is acknowledged as a global economic giant and Australia’s ‘Special Strategic Partner’, sharing many of Australia’s central values. The policy seeks to deepen economic ties, trade and investment with Japan and to strengthen economic dialogue to complement the existing FTA. The lack of understanding of Australian product offerings is also addressed, with the policy aiming to develop a strong and consistent “nation brand” to market Australia’s commercial, educational and cultural credentials in a competitive global market. Additionally, the policy fundamentally embraces trade openness, and aims to help Australian businesses and workers benefit from an open and competitive economy.
Earlier in the year, Japan released the 2017 Diplomatic Bluebook. In this, Japan has acknowledged Australia and New Zealand as important partners, and its commitment to strengthening relationships with the two countries. Japan has committed to further advancing the EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) with Australia. There is a strong emphasis on how the three countries share common values such as openness to trade.
Similar, in its Japanese Investment in Australia report published in July, Austrade confirmed that Japan is Australia’s second largest export market and second largest source of foreign investment, valued at A$91 billion. Some 421 Japanese companies operate in Australia, providing over 58,000 jobs. The report concluded that Japanese investment in Australia is diversifying, and will continue to expand to ensure future prosperity.
We have also seen a rise in investment deals between Japanese and Australian companies. Major deals this year include, Tokyo based MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings’ acquisition of an approximate 6.3% of outstanding shares of Challenger Ltd, Lendlease’s infrastructure joint venture with Soft Bank Group to develop and own telecom infrastructure assets in the United States, Mizuho and Marubeni Corporation’s successful completion of a trial transaction between Japan and Australia over a blockchain/DLT network, and Nishio Rent All’s definitive Share Sale Agreement to acquire 80% shares of North Fork Pty Ltd, just to name a few.
Economic cooperation between Japan and New Zealand also became a hot topic in 2017 amid news on negotiations for a revised Trans Pacific Partnership. Trade between Japan and New Zealand is dominated by natural and food products such as dairy, beef, fish, wood and aluminium, but in recent years we have seen an increasing focus on tech exports as well, as demonstrated in this year's JNZBC Conference in Osaka.
In 2018 we look forward to upcoming events such as the SME Support Program IT Industry Insights, ANZCCJ Shinnenkai 2018,the Ashurst M&A Year in Review and the Dream Collective’s Equip the Next Generation of Female Leaders Luncheon. We will look to build upon a good start to the year and make 2018 as beneficial as possible for all our members.
December marks the end of a fabulous stint at the Chamber for our outgoing Executive Director, Cristina Merino. Cristina has shown tremendous leadership in the role and has contributed so much in making the Chamber the successful organisation that it has become. On behalf of all at the Chamber I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you and wish Cristina all the best in her future endeavours. This month we will be welcoming Judith Hanna as our new Executive Director. Judith has huge shoes to fill and I look forward to her adding her strengths to the organisation to build upon the strong base that we have.
Finally, a merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all our members! If you are looking for great Christmas deals in Tokyo, take a look at the ANZCCJ's Guide to Christmas and New Year's to learn about the exciting events and offers available through our sponsors. Stay well.Andrew Gauci
Click here for the full ANZCCJ Newsletter December 2017.