The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) held on 27 April marked a turning point.
Firstly, I had the pleasure of reporting on the achievements of what has been a tremendous year for the chamber. Following the announcement of the election results for the 2015–16 Executive Committee (Excom), I then had the honour, as chairman of the newly elected Excom, of talking about our plans for the year ahead.
The AGM also marked the appointment of five new members to Excom who bring tremendous business experience, energy and a fresh perspective that will contribute greatly to our collective capabilities.
Leveraging the network
Combined with an active membership base and increasing interest in our events developing outside the chamber, the BCCJ will strive to be at the heart of efforts to facilitate commercial opportunities in relation to the UK–Japan business relationship.
Our mission is to strengthen these bilateral business ties, promote and support the business interests of our members, and actively encourage both new British business into the Japan market as well as Japanese investment into the UK.
In considering the chamber’s goals for the year ahead though, I am moved to think more fundamentally about the purpose that defines what the chamber is, and the reason for its existence. Essentially, we bring you the people who matter.
Whether you are a BCCJ member, or a non-member stakeholder in the UK–Japan business relationship, the people who matter to you will depend on your particular business and position within the market in Japan.
The BCCJ will leverage its network in government and business to provide you with high quality events and a media platform.
This will enable you to connect more easily with a larger number of potential customers, peers, enthusiasts, partners, advisors and thought-leaders, as well as demonstrate your commitment to enhancing UK–Japan ties.
An effective platform
We will continue to provide a more effective platform for business exchange and networking, and to enable members to understand the commercial and community-related opportunities around the Rugby World Cup 2019 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The recent visit to Japan of The Duke of Cambridge also highlighted a number of causes in Japan that can benefit greatly from the continued support of the business community. The chamber, therefore, will continue to provide opportunities for members to enhance their corporate social responsibility activities.
Over 2015–16, the BCCJ will be bringing you the people who matter. To do so, we rely on the participation of our members at BCCJ events and in our initiatives. I urge you to contribute; it is that commitment which makes the BCCJ the dynamic and successful organisation it is today.