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Content - Special SCCIJ Luncheon voucher distribution in 2016
- February 23, 2016
Special SCCIJ Luncheon voucher distribution in 2016
Tokyo (SCCIJ) – The SCCIJ Annual General Meeting (AGM) has decided to use retained earnings for a special voucher distribution in 2016 and for a support of educational exchanges between Japan and Switzerland (including the possibility of supporting the scholarship fund of the Swiss-Japan Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland). Ms. Mamiko Tanaka, Representative Director and Chief Executive Officer of Victorinox Japan, and Mr. Stefan Hofer, Head Business Development of Julius Baer Wealth Management Japan, were elected as new executive committee members. Ms. Yuriko Akiyama and Mr. Hidetake Inagaki both resigned from the board due to the end of their second and last two-year term.
Report of SCCIJ President
At the beginning of the AGM, Mr. Michael Mroczek, President of the SCCIJ since February 2015, took stock of the past year. He emphasized the rising relevance and recognition of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan compared with other foreign chambers in Japan and cited rising membership and increased event participation numbers as proofs. „In contrast to other chambers, our overhead costs are very low so we do not have to think about profit and making money but instead, we can focus on the events themselves“, President Mroczek said with a smile.
In 2015, the SCCIJ had its highest increase of income and, despite the highest increase of expenses, also the highest net income of its history. "We have organized the highest number of events ever and had almost 150 attendees more than last year due to an increased number of attending non-members", Mr. Mroczek said.
The president emphasized that the Executive Committee would like to see a higher number of members (as opposed to non-members) attending the events. Currently 60 percent of regular members participated in the luncheons, half of whom did three times or more. "Sometimes within the companies successors are not informed about the existence and the activities of the chamber ", he speculated about the reasons. "So please use your vouchers and inform us about changes and succesions", he pleaded.
Special voucher distribution in 2016
High retained earnings let the Executive Committee to suggest the distribution of additional five free vouchers for SCCIJ events in 2016 to each company member with a total value of 3.5 million yen. After a brief discussion the AGM voted in favor of this proposal. The vouchers will be distributed soon. Also Article 2 of the SCCIJ Constitution was amended by the AGM. This allows the Executive Committee to support educational exchanges between Japan and Switzerland in both directions - Swiss students going to Japan and Japanese SCCIJ members sending trainees to Switzerland. The amendment would not necessarily lead to lasting financial responsibilities for the SCCIJ, President Mroczek clarified before the vote.
Changes in the SCCIJ Executive Committee
The lineup of the Executive Committee changed because two long-time members had to resign after four years due to the rule that the two-year EC term can be extended only once. So Ms. Yuriko Akiyama and Mr. Hidetake Inagaki left the EC. After a one-year break, they theoretically have the opportunity to join again. They were replaced by Ms. Mamiko Tanaka and Mr. Stefan Hofer. The two other candidates for the open positions were Mr. Dio Inoue of Chugai Pharmaceutical and Mr. Shinji Shimomoto of Hilti Japan. Mr. Takayuki Kawashima, Senior Advisor, Private Banking Japan, Credit Suisse, was also elected as a member of the EC. He had replaced Mr. Christian Huber, Managing Director of Credit Suisse in the Private Banking & Wealth Management division, who left for Singapore at the end of last year.
Report of PR and Media Subcommittee
After the departure of Mr. Huber, Mr. Jean-Jacques Makoto Jaccard of CH Projects Management has become the new head of the PR and Media Subcommittee. The other current member is Mr. Matthias Frey, a SCCIJ EC special advisor of the Swiss Embassy. According to his review of the past year, the number of unique visitors of the homepage www.sccij.jp stayed at about the same level as in 2014. 92 unique articles and 24 newsletters were produced and put online by the SCCIJ. The LinkedIn SCCIJ discussion group increased by 28 members to 113.
New newsletter format in 2016
The SCCIJ was able to line up 13 companies as sponsors in the categories platinum (Straumann, Commerzbank), gold (ABB, Okuno & Partners, Reishauer, Roche, Swiss Airlines, Swissotel Nankai Osaka), silver (DKSH, Oakwood, USM) and bronze (Actelion, Hilti, Pictet, Nestlé) to finance the PR and media activities. Their contributions financed the PR & media acitivities fully.
In 2016, the SCCIJ will continue to produce newsletters and articles and is planning to implement a new format for the newsletter and information e-mails. It will offer a platform to introduce member companies and open up the newsletter and information e-mail beyond the membership. Also, the SCCIJ wants to increase its social media presence. The current sponsoring scheme for PR/Media activities will be continued.
Report of Kanto Events Sub-committee
Subcommittee head Mr. Markus Gfeller was absent, so Ms. Akiyama presented the report. Other members of the committee are Ms. Caroline Baumann (Swiss Embassy), Mr. Martin Fluck (Oakwood) and Mr. Philipp Saurer (LNS). There were 13 Luncheons in 2015, four more than the previous year, with a total of 667 participants (after 530 participants in 2014).
Among the speakers were Mr. Hans-Ulrich Meister, former Head Private Banking and CEO Credit Suisse, Mr. André Borschberg, Co-Founder, CEO and Pilot of Solar Impulse, Mr. Jasper Cheung, CEO Amazon Japan, and Mr. Jürg Schmid, CEO Switzerland Tourism. Also four Swiss Young Professionals events were held jointly with the Embassy of Switzerland. The Year End Party attracted 270 participants which was a record in SCCIJ history.
For 2016, luncheon events with various speakers, including Swiss Ambassador Urs Bucher, are in the pipeline up to early summer.
Report of Kansai Events Sub-committee
Subcommittee Kansai Head Mr. Dieter Sommerhalder who is supported by Ms. Melanie Kohli (Nestlé) and Mr. Christian Schaufelbühl (Swissotel Nankai Osaka) said the committee had organized four events despite being small and having limited resources.
Among others, they organized a Swiss Young Professionals Event at Swissôtel Nankai, a lecture about 1,200 years Koya-san by Swiss Monk Kurt "Genso" Kuebli and company visits in Amagasaki and Kobe followed by a dinner event. In 2016, they plan an event at Nescafé in Kobe, a visit to a local whisky factory, an underground tour in Osaka and an event at Grand Front Osaka Victorinox store on the occasion of the 20-year-anniversary of Victorinox Japan.
Report of Relationship Management Subcommittee
"We have tried to work very hard this year", Mr. Fabien Clerc, the head of the subcommittee for relationship management, said. Other members are Mr. Roger Zbinden (Swiss Embassy), Mr. Saurer, Mr. Kawashima and Mr. Sommerhalder. The commmittee's objectives are to increase value for existing members and expand the membership.
Last year the membership decreased from 161 to 160 merely due to technical regulation changes. As a result, the composite changed significantly which resulted in an increased income of the SCCIJ. The number of student members fell from 18 to 1 due to a rule change which requires them now to re-register annually. At the same time, there was a strong shift from associate to corporate members after the SCCIJ realized that some associate members fulfilled the formal requirements of corporate members. The net result was that the number of regular members increased by 14.
In 2016 the subcommittee wants to continue to provide best value to members by added-value events (luncheon, networking, etc.). Also, there are plans to expand the membership by pro-active contacts to target segments such as Japanese companies or Asian companies in Japan.
Text and photos: SCCIJ