I am delighted to be writing my first column of 2012 with a full plate of activities before me, and relishing some of the projects that lie ahead.
This year, communication will continue to drive activities at the BCCJ.
A new site, to be launched early in the year, will allow us to keep you up to date with news and information—including BCCJ event notices and updates from the British Embassy Tokyo—and to promote connections between member firms.
A review of the printed BCCJ Membership Directory’s processes and value will ensure that information about member firms is presented in a way that best drives and supports business relationships.
Annual General Meeting
The lead-up to this year’s Annual General Meeting, scheduled to take place in the final week of April, will involve a fresh look at how to increase membership involvement with the BCCJ.
Our B2B Fund, set up in response to the disasters of 11 March 2011, and focusing on projects that lead to self-sustainability, will continue to connect local businesses in Tohoku’s affected areas with financial support from BCCJ member firms. This will involve a variety of CSR activities, including the scheduling of volunteer trips to Tohoku throughout the year.
Our strategy, launched in April 2011, has proved successful in clarifying the objectives and attractions of events. With the strategy now firmly in place, we will work on setting a calendar of events that showcases the best of the UK in Japan. In particular, stay tuned for notice of a VIP visitor in the first quarter of 2012, and exclusive opportunities to engage in thought leadership.
Our presence has grown organically over the past months, and now includes active Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages. A new intern from Temple University Japan will join us at the end of January to increase the frequency and value of postings by the BCCJ and help position us to become more closely aligned with the activities of member firms.
Our relationships with key British institutions, including the British Embassy Tokyo and British Council Japan, are expected to strengthen during what is set to be an extraordinary year for the UK. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will provide the BCCJ with great opportunities to contribute to what Foreign Secretary William Hague has called “the long-term legacy of the games”: the making of new connections and friendships among nations.
Whatever 2012 holds in store, we are committed to promoting high-value, open communication between member firms and the business community in Japan and globally.
I wish you—BCCJ members, supporters and your firms—all the best for a prosperous year ahead. It is your ongoing contributions that will continue to make the BCCJ one of the most proactive and locally engaged chambers of commerce in Japan, and perhaps even a model for chambers’ success around the world!