The magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan
BCCJ ACUMEN Survey Results
It’s either bravery or folly to survey your flagship product and publish the results. But here goes.
Diamond in the Rough
It’s refreshing to see success amid the gloom—and politicians getting it right. Cynics rolled their eyes when the government announced a major initiative last year to create a “Silicon Valley” in a gloomy part of London more traditionally known for poverty and a working-class soap opera than shiny offices and innovation.
More Than a Mission
It takes guts, drive and focus to open a business at the best of times, let alone with the present economic mood. So it’s a rare pleasure to encounter people with the necessary faith in a product or service, and to hear their inspiring story, but even more so when that product is British.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Good places for foreigners to start gauging the state of a country they are considering living in are international schools and relocation services—and that’s the focus of our two “disaster aftermath” special features, on pages 14 and 28. Education and accommodation are key issues for many expatriates and the articles offer valuable insights to help them make the right choices.
Quality Over Quantity
The design industry, mercifully, has prospered since British Leyland and butterfly collars helped make the memorable 1970s a decade of poor taste, with a few exceptions such as the MGB and hot pants.
Flicking through this issue, however, you might agree that British form is back. UK clothes, autos and consumer items decorate pages 12, 22, 33 and 38.
One concern I had when launching ACUMEN was how to please natives of the entire United Kingdom, without the magazine being seen as “too English”. Born near the Severn Bridge, of Anglo-Irish parents, with a Highlands link by wedlock and a history of fractious clan gatherings, I shuddered at the thought.
Best of Both Worlds
If anyone doubts Britain’s commitment to Europe, they probably haven’t read BCCJ ACUMEN recently. The Brussels-based EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation—a joint venture between the EC and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry that strongly influences trade talks such as those featured in our cover story this issue—never fails to ask me each month if it can reproduce in their magazine any EU-related stories we feature.
Food for Thought
The different marketing styles of Europe, Asia and North America were starkly illustrated to me recently. As we prepared this issue’s cover story on the multinational Eurofighter consortium’s bid to sell its Typhoon to Japan, Washington embarrassingly failed to make the shortlist to supply its combat aircraft to India because technology from two huge US jet manufacturers was judged inferior to that of Europe.
Pride of Place
Due to the difficulty of sourcing paper since the earthquake and tsunami in March, ACUMEN is a few pages short this month.
We’ve also brought forward our CSR features, originally scheduled for the May INDUSTRY special [...]
Building Business Partnerships
People occasionally ask me what the benefits are of BCCJ membership and receiving ACUMEN. Well, apart from the obvious merits of networking, events, information and influence, let me give you a prime example of a modest start-up that partnered with an established global giant, all thanks to the Chamber and its monthly magazine.
Staying Ahead in a Slump
BBA: Behind the Scenes
Which Good Cause?
Having a strong CSR programme has become de riguer for any firm serious about business today. But there are so many good causes out there that it’s hard to decide which one to support.
Open to Ideas
UK: First Choice for FDI
By the time you read this, the World Cup in South Africa will have kicked off and thousands of Scottish, Welsh and Irish fans will be cheering England’s opposition. Regional rivalry is no less intense in the UK’s boardrooms, offices and factories...
Change For the Better
From aerospace to toiletries and asset management to organic products, many industries with a foreign presence here would like to level the playing field when it comes to market access and regulations...
Blowing Our Own Trumpet
I am occasionally asked what makes BCCJ ACUMEN special.
Well, apart from being the sole magazine delivered to all members of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan, BCCJ ACUMEN features only exclusive text: you won’t read our content elsewhere — unlike articles in certain competing publications.