Message from the Chair
This month was a time for us as a Chamber to take stock of the progress made over the last year and lay the foundations of a road map for 2018. Thank you to our Platinum and Gold Corporate Sponsors who participated in our roundtable session and all of the members who provided feedback through our surveys this month. For those of us on the Executive Council, we take your feedback seriously and will be giving further thought to what you each had to say when the Executive Council meet for our annual strategy session on 6 March. For those of you who have not yet given your feedback, please fill in our survey online before Friday 2 March.
No doubt part of our strategy this year will include bringing Australian and New Zealand businesses with our Japanese counterparts together at events surrounding key sporting fixtures. The personal engagement achieved amongst business people at these events helps to drive relationships that further business ties. For this reason I was personally quite excited to see the announcement earlier this month that the final Bledisloe test match between the Australian Wallabies and New Zealand All Blacks will be held at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama on 27 October. A great opportunity to raise the profile of our businesses if managed well. All Black’s Coach Steve Hansen made a great comment at a joint AIG-Nikkei event on 3 February. He said that like any top performing sports team, businesses should be collaborating with one another to share ideas so that together we will all get sharper. I think as a Chamber, we’re particularly strong in this area of collaboration. I would like to encourage those of you who are interested to get involved in our Sports for Business and Food Ag and Hospitality subcommittees by joining the regular meetings and signing up to get the email announcements (which you can do through emailing firstname.lastname@example.org). This will help you keep up-to-date with one another and opportunities coming down the pipeline. Both committees meet regularly and exchange ideas, information and opportunities.
This month I would also like to recognize the Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC); a business training program in Tokyo which joins companies looking for a fresh strategic perspective, with company employees looking for a once in a lifetime kind of learning and development experience. The ANZCCJ was a founding supporter of this program with Bill Hall still active in driving JMEC forward. JMEC is geared around upskilling young executives and professionals and at the same time assisting foreign companies to further penetrate the Japanese market. Lendlease benefited from being a project sponsor a few years ago and I’m a firm supporter of this program having seen firsthand what it can deliver. The 2018 JMEC program starts 11th November (Saturday), with applications due 15th October. For more information visit: http://www.jmec.gr.jp/.
I’d also like to announce that ANZCCJ will be moving offices in April to We Works located in Shimbashi/Toranomon. With our existing term coming up we were keen to get better value from the real estate we use but at a similar cost. After a thorough search we decided the new option provided the best price and location with an opportunity to host meetings and events more cost effectively. In addition, the work space is cutting edge and collaborative, the right feel for the kind of Chamber that we are. The team will plan some casual office warming get together for those who are around to visit in May.
Finally, we have a few exciting events coming up in March. On 7 March is the annual Foodex networking event, where Australian food producers can showcase their products to Japanese consumers. On 9 March we have Sam Mostyn a leader in sustainability, gender equality and business management who serves as a non-executive director on the boards of Virgin Australia, Transurban and Mirvac, and chair of Citibank Australia, speaking about women in sports and business at the Australian Embassy. Sam was the first woman to join the Australian Football League (AFL) Commission and worked to implement the AFL's Respect and Responsibility policies and indigenous program, I will be very much looking forward to hearing from her next month. Keep an eye out on the ANZCCJ website for updated news and events.Andrew Gauci