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 — with 12 official bodies fighting hard for foreign direct investment. I was really impressed with the resources and commitment of the organisations that helped with our FDI cover story, “Britain: Open for Business”. UK Trade & Investment, in Tokyo and London, tell me they are ready with the contacts, staff and expertise to smooth business — both ways — and even the regions with no physical presence in Japan were quick with quotes, statistics and images, despite the time lag.
As a high-profile British brand or two flounder abroad due to strikes and oil slicks, it is refreshing to hear that the UK does enjoy most-favoured-nation status for something — FDI in Europe.
It’s not just tax breaks, so what draws foreign investors to the UK? Amazingly, the weather is one reason — in Scotland, the North East and Norfolk wind power generation is in demand.
As our Letter to the Editor states, few democracies boast workers who rarely down tools or even take a holiday, so when Japan peers beyond China’s sweatshops, it demands very high standards indeed: a creative, educated and reliable workforce, solid infrastructure, stable government, cultured lifestyle, value for money as well as friendly ties to the Continent, the US and beyond. That’s modern Britain.
Business plan, mini-MBA
Individuals and employers often try a respected business qualification or an experienced consultant to further their aims. Few organi-sations offer both — and at a fraction of the price. JMEC does. The 16th Japan Market Expansion Competition awards featured on page 46 showed no shortage of enthusiastic participants and pleased recipients of business plans. Congratulations to the winners.
More pages, readers
As other English-language publi-cations in Tokyo quietly reduce their circulation and pages to lower costs, or remain economical with the truth on readership claims, you may have observed that the pages of BCCJ ACUMEN are multiplying: yes we have again added four pages, and we have also doubled to over 2,000 the number of Financial Times’ subscribers in central Tokyo who receive every issue. So thanks to our loyal advertisers who help make this magazine not just the point of reference for foreign business in Japan, but also the most effective showcase for their products, services and business solutions to an ever-expanding and influential readership.