A year of achievements was celebrated on December 8 at the QJCCI's traditional 'bonenkai' year-end networking event, generously hosted by QJCCI Premium Member, Stamford Plaza Brisbane.
With Queensland-Japan ties continuing to strengthen, the event celebrated what has been an extremely positive year in the relationship, across commerce, security, trade and cultural fields.
QJCCI Vice President Julie Yamamoto opened proceedings, welcoming members and guests and thanking Stamford Plaza Brisbane for another excellent display of hospitality in its stunning Brisbane riverside setting.
VIP guest, Japan Deputy Consul-General, Ms MASUDA Chieko then thanked the Chamber and all connected with Queensland-Japan ties for their efforts over the past year, noting the growth of the relationship with Japan recently regaining its position as Queensland's top export market.
With Japan now reopened for international visitors and new connections in December such as the Brisbane-Tokyo (Haneda Airport) route operated by Qantas, there has never been a better time to re-engage with the world's third-largest economy.
The QJCCI wishes to thank our door prize contributors, including the tour voucher offered by leading Brisbane tour operator Adventure Day Trips, together with a dinner voucher from Stamford Plaza Brisbane.
The Chamber thanks everyone for contributing to the success of our events in 2022, as we look forward to the Year of the Rabbit in 2023!
The QJCCI returned to the Gold Coast on November 22 for another evening of fantastic networking, at the superb facilities of QJCCI Premium Member, Chateraise Lakelands Golf Club.
Held in conjunction with JCCI Gold Coast, the Japan Community of Queensland, Japanese Society of Gold Coast and Japan Tourism Gold Coast, the event attracted a top-tier audience of the Queensland-Japan community on the Gold Coast.
Mr ONO Masuo, Consul-General of Japan in Brisbane and Deputy Consul-General, Ms MASUDA Chieko were among VIP guests to the event, together with Japanese Society of Gold Coast President Yukari Ando and JCCI Gold Coast President Saku Sunakawa.
Opening the event, QJCCI President Chris Whitecross thanked guests for their attendance at what has now become a regular meeting place for the Chamber on the Gold Coast, with the QJCCI keen to expand its horizons across Queensland.
"2022 has been an excellent year for Queensland and Australia-Japan relations, and from every signal I'm seeing the relationship has never been stronger," Mr Whitecross said.
VIP speaker, Mr ONO thanked guests, noting the Japanese community's longstanding presence on the Gold Coast and growing trade and investment links with Queensland across tourism, energy, resources, education, agriculture and other sectors.
The QJCCI thanks Chateraise Lakelands Golf Club for its excellent hospitality, together with Adventure Day Trips for generously transporting a number of guests from Brisbane.
With this event continuing to attract strong interest, the QJCCI looks forward to returning to the Gold Coast in 2023!
Carbon farming is rapidly expanding in Queensland, with some 250 projects already operating and many more in the pipeline. With major trading partner Japan also looking at opportunities in this sector, could the Queensland-Japan relationship be set to enter a new and greener future?
On Thursday, October 6, the QJCCI and an expert panel from Queensland and Japan examined these questions and more at an exclusive luncheon event at the Brisbane Club, entitled "Carbon Farming - Pathway to Net Zero Emissions."
Opening the event, Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Japan, Tak Adachi, described the enormous opportunity for Queensland and Japan in such areas as carbon farming, low emission agriculture and biomass.
He noted the recent launch of the A$62 billion "Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan," under which the state government has committed to a target of 70% renewable energy by 2032, the year of the Brisbane Olympics.
Mr Adachi highlighted how Japan, a nation of 124 million people, currently imports around 60% of its food and up to 95% of its energy, with Queensland in a strong position to benefit as a supplier of both key goods.
The next speaker was J-Power's Hiroyuki Kagamoto, who described his energy company's efforts to reduce carbon emissions through using low carbon materials, such as for concrete blocks.
Simon Shaw of The Hydrogen Collective then took over as MC, introducing Lynne Turner, General Manager, Horticulture and Forestry Science at Queensland's Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Ms Turner pointed to the need for new solutions to reduce emissions, with the agriculture sector currently producing Queensland's third-highest carbon-equivalent emissions behind energy and transport. Of the farm sector's emissions, enteric methane accounts for 78% of its greenhouse gas emissions.
The next speaker from the Queensland Government was Amelia Selles, Manager Investor Engagement, Department of Environment and Science.
Ms Selles noted opportunities for investors from Japan and elsewhere in funds such as Queensland Investment Corporation's "Queensland Natural Capital Fund," which seeks to drive environmental outcomes while delivering investor returns.
After a panel discussion involving Mr Adachi, Ms Turner and Ms Selles, Mr Adachi welcomed NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting's Motoshi Muraoka, who spoke about Japan's "J-Credit" scheme of domestic carbon credits and the opportunities for investors.
Mr Muraoka highlighted emerging research and development in Australia, including a CSIRO, James Cook University and Meat & Livestock Australia study that showed it could be possible to reduce 98% of methane emissions from cattle.
Next to address the audience (online from Japan) was JGC Holding Corporation's Yuki Nishimura, who discussed his company's efforts to produce sustainable aviation fuel, targeting first production in 2025, the year of the Osaka Expo.
Also speaking online from Japan, Asahi Kasei's Nobuko Uetake discussed her company's work in developing biochemicals from bioethanol, a unique one-step process that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Chamber wishes to thank all attendees including our VIP guest, the Japan Consul-General in Brisbane, ONO Masuo, together with representatives of Redland City Council, the Portugese Consulate and Austrade.
The Chamber also thanks our guests from the JCCIB, including representatives of major Japanese companies such as Idemitsu, Iwatani, JFE Shoji, Mitsui, NS Resources and Sojitz.
Concluding the event, QJCCI President Chris Whitecross also acknowledged the significant efforts in building Queensland-Japan ties by AJS Queensland's Margaret Rackemann, who recently stepped down from her role as AJS-Qld president to be replaced by David Shield.
The QJCCI thanks everyone who contributed to the success of the event, which judging from the audience was a very timely discussion!
Rising interest rates both in Australia and globally, a U.S. recession and the impact of global events such as the coronavirus pandemic present a turbulent economic outlook for the year ahead.
How can businesses both in Australia and Japan position themselves to accommodate such circumstances and come out ahead when conditions improve?
On September 6, Griffith Business School's Professor Fabrizio Carmignani provided a valuable update on the Australian, Japanese and global economy and its outlook, at an evening event generously hosted by QJCCI Premium Member, leading law firm DLA Piper, at its Brisbane office.
DLA Piper's Alexander Samson opened proceedings, providing an outline of DLA Piper's services and its recent launch of a Japan-Australia newsletter for the benefit of bilateral investment and trade.
This was followed by an exclusive update on Australia-Japan mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity, live from Tokyo by DLA Piper's Masahiko Ishida, Co-Country Managing Partner, Japan.
Mr Ishida highlighted a number of recent Australia-Japan M&A transactions involving Japanese companies such as ENEOS, Itochu, Mitsubishi, Mitsui and Sojitz.
Based on societal pressures, the macroeconomy, ESG and other factors, he pointed to good conditions for further outbound M&A activity by Japanese companies. Mr Ishida also noted the positive political and economic relationship between Australia and Japan, with ESG investments particularly in focus, as contributing to further growth in Japanese investment in Australia.
Attention then turned to the event's keynote speaker, Professor Carmignani, who provided an update on the current position and outlook for the Australian, Japanese and global economy.
Professor Carmignani stressed that current high inflation is primarily due to "supply side shocks, most notably disruption to global supply chains and geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe and elsewhere."
He said central banks were now implementing their standard "textbook response" of increasing interest rates, with the notable exception of the Bank of Japan (BOJ).
Examining the risks of a global downturn, he said the probability of a recession in the United States, the world's largest economy, was around "40 to 50 per cent," following the impact of stock market volatility and higher interest rates.
While the yield curve is inverted in the United States (an indicator of recession), in Japan it still remains relatively normal he said, with the BOJ maintaining ultra-low interest rates despite a declining exchange rate against the US dollar.
In China, the central bank recently cut interest rates slightly, "indicative of recession taking precedence over inflation as a policy concern."
Nevertheless, the International Monetary Fund still projects positive global economic growth of 3.2 per cent in 2022 and 2.9 per cent in 2023, with Australia expected to expand by 4.1 per cent this year and 2.4 per cent in 2023.
While inflation in Australia is expected to reach 7.8 per cent by year-end, the professor said inflation is seen declining to 4.3 per cent by the end of 2023 and 3 per cent by the end of 2024.
Although current GDP growth in Australia is solid, with low unemployment, Professor Carmignani said Australia is "not immune from global shocks - a global economic slowdown would inevitably affect Australia."
Consumer confidence and business confidence have declined following recent interest rate hikes by the Reserve Bank of Australia, but the nation is still seen avoiding recession, as shown by a relatively normal yield curve.
The QJCCI thanks both DLA Piper and Professor Carmignani for their excellent presentations, with a big thank you to DLA Piper for its superb venue and catering.
The Chamber also thanks our VIP attendees, including the Japan Consul-General in Brisbane, ONO Masuo and Deputy Consul-General, MASUDA Chieko.
Japan is the world's third-largest economy, offering a wealth of opportunity for Australian businesses. But how do you successfully communicate and engage with Japan, a nation with its own unique and distinctive language, culture and business practices?
On July 26, Tokyo-based Rochelle Kopp of Japan Intercultural Consulting shared some of the secrets of successful business communication with Japan.
During the one-hour webinar, Ms Kopp highlighted key aspects of communicating with Japanese clients or colleagues, including:
* understanding Japanese preferences for communication style
* formatting of information
* authenticity and attention to detail
* Japanese customer service expectations
* dealing with the language barrier.
Ms Kopp also answered a number of questions from participants, including general sentiment towards foreign businesses in Japan, the need to translate documents such as presentations into Japanese, and solutions for the language barrier for smaller companies without a Japanese partner, among other queries.
She also gave some examples of Western companies that have succeeded in Japan, as well as some stories of those that got it wrong!
The event was hosted by the QJCCI's and Republic PR's Anthony Fensom.
A recording of the event is available via this link.
The QJCCI was delighted to welcome his Excellency, Japanese Ambassador YAMAGAMI Shingo to Brisbane in an exclusive member-only event held on June 14 at the Brisbane Club.
Co-hosted with the Australia-Japan Society (AJS) Qld, the event was attended by a number of dignitaries from government and business, including ONO Masuo, Consul-General of Japan in Brisbane; Trade and Investment Qld Acting CEO, Richard Watson; and JCCIB President Fumitake Uyama.
The Ambassador was formally welcomed to the 2032 Olympics city by QJCCI President Chris Whitecross and AJS-Qld President Margaret Rackemann.
The Ambassador noted the strong trade ties between Queensland and Japan, with Japan recently regaining its position as Queensland's top export market in the year to April 2022, driven by increased exports of Queensland resources, agriculture and other goods.
However, new industries such as green hydrogen are now helping the Queensland-Japan relationship grow even stronger, with a number of Japanese companies participating in Queensland hydrogen projects.
"Japanese companies are spearheading hydrogen and ammonia pilot projects all around Australia," Mr YAMAGAMI said.
"In Gladstone, half a dozen major Japanese players are working towards the goal of turning it into one of Australia’s first hydrogen hubs."
The Ambassador also pointed towards the revival of tourism between Queensland and Japan.
"After two long years of pandemic shutdowns, travel and tourism is finally beginning to resume," Mr YAMAGAMI said.
"Before the pandemic, around half of all Japanese tourists to Australia visited this state."
The Ambassador also noted Queensland's cultural ties to Japan, including its position as Australia's leading state for the study of Japanese language, with some 130,000 Japanese learners, together with more than 30 sister city relationships across the state.
The Brisbane Olympics 2032 should see another opportunity for enhanced cooperation, the Ambassador said, highlighting the potential for Japanese high-speed rail.
Mr YAMAGAMI also welcomed the recent signing of a Reciprocal Access Agreement between Australia and Japan, which will see greater defence ties and the likelihood that "more SDF [Self-Defence Force] uniforms will be seen on Queensland streets."
The QJCCI was delighted to join with the AJS in cohosting the event and congratulates the Society on celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
More photos from the event are available on the QJCCI Facebook page.
The QJCCI welcomed Japan's newly appointed Consul-General, Mr ONO Masuo, to Brisbane in an exclusive member-only event on March 29.
Hosted by QJCCI Premium Member, Hall Chadwick Qld, at its Brisbane head office, the evening was another excellent networking event for QJCCI members.
A native of Fukushima Prefecture, Mr ONO's previous roles include dealing with global issues such as chemical weapons and climate change, together with serving as First Secretary at Japan's Embassy in Vietnam.
Speaking to the Queensland Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QJCCI), Mr ONO said he was keen to see already strong ties between Japan and Queensland expand further, including areas such as hydrogen, agriculture, education and tourism, with the upcoming 2032 Brisbane Olympics another drawcard for Japanese tourists.
Among the attendees at host Hall Chadwick Qld was Chris Shaw, Deputy Director-General, Hydrogen, from Queensland's Department of Energy and Public Works, which is pursuing more hydrogen tie-ups with Japan, together with Brisbane Airport Corporation's Ben James, among other dignitaries.
Particular thanks goes to our door prize contributor, Adventure Day Trips and congratulations to all the lucky winners!
Photos from the event will be made available on the QJCCI Facebook page.
The QJCCI marked the end of an eventful 2021 at our "bonenkai" year-end networking on December 2.
Hosted by QJCCI Premium Member, Stamford Plaza Brisbane, the Brisbane riverside venue and excellent hospitality made for a superb evening of networking.
QJCCI President Chris Whitecross awarded membership certificates to our recent new members, comprising Harding Legal, Interaction Group, Rock Financial Advisory and White & Case LLP.
The QJCCI thanks our VIP guests, including Acting Japan Consul-General, Chieko Masuda, who noted that 2021 had seen Queensland-Japan ties strengthen even further across a range of fields.
Particular thanks goes to our door prize contributors, comprising Adventure Day Trips and Dello Mano, and congratulations to all the lucky winners!
More photos from the event are available on the QJCCI Facebook page.
Queensland has partnered with Japan's energy giants to drive its future as a renewable hydrogen superpower. With a number of recent agreements signed between leading Queensland and Japanese companies, just how big could the state's new hydrogen export industry become?
Hoping to answer this question, on October 21, the QJCCI brought together leading industry participants from Queensland and Japan for a discussion on the state's renewable hydrogen future.
Presented in partnership with QJCCI Premium Member, Herbert Smith Freehills, the event at Hilton Brisbane attracted a record audience of approximately 130 members and guests, highlighting just how topical hydrogen currently is in Queensland-Japan business and government circles.
The Hon. Mick de Brenni MP, Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, launched the event by highlighting the rapid growth in Queensland's renewable hydrogen sector and the importance of the state's strong partnership with Japan.
"Japan is a leader in driving the planet's shift to a hydrogen society," the Minister noted, highlighting the participation in the state's hydrogen sector of a range of leading Japanese companies, including ENEOS, Itochu, Iwatani, Kansai Electric Power Co, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Marubeni and Sumitomo Corp.
The event's MC, Simon Shaw, director of The Hydrogen Collective, then took over proceedings, quizzing the assembled panellists on a range of topical issues related to the state's renewable hydrogen industry.
Among them, QUT Professor Ian Mackinnon highlighted the collaboration between QUT and the University of Tokyo on the birth of the new Queensland industry; Minister de Brenni noted the importance of driving domestic demand and building supply chains; Redland Mayor Karen Williams discussed the origins of Queensland's hydrogen sector in the Redlands area; Stanwell's Steve Quilter discussed the company's hydrogen project and the importance of its Japanese partnerships; and Iwatani's Masaru Nishimura commented on the company's new Brisbane office and its commitment to Queensland's hydrogen industry.
Attention then turned to the online speakers, with Tokyo-based Tak Adachi from TIQ discussing the opportunities for Queensland businesses in partnering with Japan, while Melbourne-based Alison Dodd of Herbert Smith Freehills noted the range of hydrogen projects already underway in Queensland.
Based on the record QJCCI audience, Queensland's renewable hydrogen sector is attracting a lot of attention and participants were keen to discuss further partnerships and opportunities as the sector evolves, with parallels to the development of the state's $60 billion LNG industry at Gladstone.
Thanks also to the Japanese Film Festival, which generously contributed a double pass to the lucky door prize winner, for the upcoming Brisbane leg of the festival (from November 11-21 in Brisbane).
More photos from the event are available on the QJCCI Facebook page.
Japan has gained the global limelight thanks to the Tokyo Olympics, but did you know it is also Australia's second-largest export market?
On August 26, Queensland exporters gained a taste of the many opportunities available in the world's third-largest economy, at the QJCCI's Japan Agribusiness Webinar.
Attendees gained valuable insights into growing an SME business internationally thanks to Russell Gibbons, co-founder and CEO of Sunshine Coast-based pet food exporter, Huds and Toke.
Russell shared first-hand details on his export push into not only Japan but also Singapore, with the knowledge gained from the experience proving invaluable across all the company's operations.
From Tokyo, Austrade's Murray Spence gave the latest update on Japan and its agribusiness sector amid the coronavirus pandemic and Olympics.
He also highlighted Austrade's "Australian Food and Beverage Showcase Japan 2021," which offers the opportunity for Australian SMEs to promote their products directly to Japanese buyers and importers.
QJCCI Management Committee member, Anthony Fensom of Republic PR also gave a brief overview of the Japanese market and its opportunities for Australian businesses, as analysed by Trade and Investment Queensland.
The QJCCI wishes to thank both presenters together with Trade and Investment Queensland for its invaluable support.
For those who missed the event or wish to watch it again, a recording is available via this link:
Any further queries regarding the webinar and its contents can be directed to Anthony at.
And the winner is....Brisbane!!
On a night when Brisbane was announced as host of the 2032 Olympics, the QJCCI hosted a highly successful networking event to mark the launch of the Tokyo Games.
Kindly hosted by Premium Member Hall Chadwick Qld at their excellent facilities in the Brisbane CBD, the July 21 event featured a range of VIPs including our very own Olympian!
Kazunari Tanaka, Consul-General of Japan in Brisbane noted the launch of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which have put the international spotlight on Japan and its contribution to global sport and goodwill, particularly amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
However the audience was glued to the screen for news of the big announcement regarding the host of the 2032 Games. At around 6.30pm, IOC President Thomas Bach delivered the right outcome, saying: "The Games of the XXXVth Olympiad are awarded to Brisbane, Australia.”
Mr Tanaka welcomed the announcement, tweeting: "Congratulations! 2032 will show to the world how good Queensland is! And all the best to Aussie athletes, my compatriots and all participating athletes around the world for Tokyo 2020."
Japan Holidays' Judy Luxton, an Olympian, described her experiences as an Australian swimmer at the 1972 and 1976 Games, giving the audience a unique perspective on the global event.
A big thanks to QJCCI member, Adventure Day Trips, for contributing more fantastic door prizes for attendees.
Photos from the event are available on the QJCCI Facebook page.
Here's to a safe and successful Tokyo Games, as we look ahead to hosting the world at Brisbane 2032!
The QJCCI returned to the Gold Coast in what was a fantastic evening of networking on May 25, hosted by QJCCI Premium Member, Chateraise Lakelands Golf Club at its superb facility at Merrimac.
Amid the golf club's magnificent surroundings, the large gathering from the Gold Coast's Qld-Japan community was treated to magnificent hospitality, including a wine tasting and other delicious products from Chateraise, a leading confectionary maker based in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan.
The QJCCI thanks our event partners JCCI Gold Coast, the Japan Community of Queensland, Japanese Society Gold Coast and Japan Tourism Gold Coast for contributing to what was an excellent turnout.
Among the VIP guests were Kazunari Tanaka, Consul-General of Japan in Brisbane and Deputy Consul-General Chieko Masuda; Yoshimi Kobayashi, Vice Chairman of Japan Tourism Gold Coast; Yukari Ando, President of Japanese Society Gold Coast Inc; Saku Sunakawa, President, JCCI Gold Coast; and Nao Hirano, President of the Japan Community of Qld.
A big thanks to QJCCI member, Adventure Day Trips, for arranging return transport from Brisbane for a number of attendees.
Photos from the event are available on the QJCCI Facebook page.
Judging by the feedback received, the QJCCI will be back on the coast again very soon!
Japan's 'shinkanen' bullet trains are famous worldwide, transporting millions of people daily safely and efficiently at super-fast speeds.
With Australia's population growing and the approaching potential Brisbane Olympics 2032, could high-speed rail form part of this nation's future transport system?
Yoshikazu Nishida, General Manager, Central Japan Railway Co (JR Tokai) highlighted the potential for Australia at a fascinating presentation held on May 6 at the Brisbane Club.
Mr Nishida noted the extraordinary safety and efficiency of the Tokaido Shinkansen, with not a single injury or fatality since it commenced operation in 1964 and an average punctuality within 0.2 minutes per train.
Significantly, high-speed rail also offers environmental benefits, with energy consumption around one-eighth and carbon dioxide emissions one-twelfth of comparable air travel.
Having achieved a world record speed of 603 kilometres per hour in 2015 for its 'Superconducting Maglev,' JR Tokai aims to unite Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka into a "super mega region" once its new maglev service is operational in 2027.
With overseas projects in Texas, USA and Taiwan, the company has demonstrated overseas experience, with Mr Nishida welcoming opportunities to support fast rail initiatives in Australia.
Among the attentive audience were VIP guests, Kazunari Tanaka, Consul-General of Japan in Brisbane and Deputy Consul-General Chieko Masuda; Deputy Speaker of Queensland Parliament, Joe Kelly MP; Steve Minnikin MP, Shadow Minister for Transport and Main Roads; and Cr Ryan Murphy, Chair of Brisbane City Council's Public and Active Transport Committee.
A big thanks to QJCCI member, Adventure Day Trips, for contributing another fantastic door prize.
Photos from the evening are available on the QJCCI Facebook page.
The QJCCI thanks Mr Nishida for his presentation and looks forward to welcoming him back to Brisbane again soon (hopefully on a high-speed train!).
QJCCI members and guests celebrated the Year of the Ox with another great 'shinnenkai' (new year networking) event on February 24, kindly hosted by QJCCI Premium Member, Hall Chadwick Qld.
Welcoming attendees, Japan Consul-General, Kazunari Tanaka noted recent advances in Queensland-Japan ties, including the rapidly developing hydrogen sector, as the relationship continues to strengthen.
QJCCI President Chris Whitecross welcomed new members and also paid special tribute to outgoing Deputy Consul-General, Takeshi Tanabe, who will return to Japan next month after a productive stay in Brisbane.
A big thank you to QJCCI member Monkey Tree Brewing for its excellent beer, cider and ginger beer, to Kabuki restaurant for the delicious food and also to Adventure Day Trips for providing a fantastic door prize, won by Double Black Hotel's Mark Dindas.
Photos from the event are available on the QJCCI Facebook page.
Here's to a safe and prosperous 2021 to all!
After the events of 2020, the QJCCI was delighted to host this year's 'bonenkai' year-end networking on the evening of December 3 at the stunning riverside venue provided by QJCCI Premium member, Stamford Plaza Brisbane.
A near-record gathering celebrated the year-end and looked forward to a prosperous 2021, the year of the postponed Tokyo Olympics.
A big thank you to all members and guests who attended, including Japan Consul-General, Kazunari Tanaka, who shared his thoughts on a very productive year for Japan-Australia ties.
Congratulations to our door prize winners, with prizes very generously provided by QJCCI Premium Member, Dello Mano and Monkey Tree Brewing.
Photos from the event are available on the QJCCI Facebook page.
Stay tuned for details of the next QJCCI event!
In the meantime, please have a very safe and happy festive season - our very best wishes for a prosperous New Year!
The Queensland Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (QJCCI) would like to thank all those who attended last Thursday's Annual General Meeting (AGM), kindly hosted by QJCCI Premium Member, Hall Chadwick.
The event was also attended by Mr Kazunari Tanaka, Consul-General of Japan in Brisbane, together with Ms Harumi Narita, Consul.
Beverages were kindly supplied by new QJCCI member, Monkey Tree Brewing, with catering from Premium Member, Stamford Plaza Brisbane (Kabuki restaurant).
In his report, QJCCI President Chris Whitecross thanked members for their support despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted the Chamber's initiative to effectively halve membership fees for fiscal 2021 had been well received by members.
Looking ahead, Mr Whitecross pointed to ongoing webinars and plans to extend the Chamber's activities further into regional Queensland, together with maintaining regular communication with the Queensland-Japan network.
"While there has been an absence of the usual networking events, we are very hopeful that, circumstances permitting, we will be able to hold our annual bonenkai networking event in early December," he said. (Please stay tuned for details!).
A newly elected QJCCI management committee for 2020-21 can be found via this link:
The QJCCI extends its best wishes to all members for a prosperous and peaceful year ahead, as we continue working to strengthen the Queensland-Japan relationship.
Japan is Australia's second-largest agricultural, forestry and fisheries market, offering a wealth of opportunities for agribusiness and food manufacturers.
And with free trade agreements such as the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Australian exporters have never had a better opportunity to enter this lucrative market, where the majority of foods are imported.
On September 30, the QJCCI joined a webinar with the Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland (CCIQ) and Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) - Japan to explore the benefits and opportunities emerging in a post-COVID-19 world to Australian farmers and agricultural producers (and downstream manufacturers) in the highly valuable Japanese market.
Further details regarding the event and its participants are available via this link.
2020 has seen the global coronavirus pandemic wreak a tragic toll on human lives as well as inflicting economic destruction, while the U.S.-China trade war and approaching U.S. presidential poll also threaten to cause more financial market volatility.
Locally, Australia has plunged into its first recession since the 1990s, while Japan, our second-largest trading partner, has tumbled into its worst downturn in decades.
Yet with a COVID-19 vaccine seemingly on the horizon, could better times lie ahead in 2021, the year of the (rescheduled) Tokyo Olympics?
On August 26, QJCCI members and guests were given an update on the latest economic conditions in Australia and Japan and the outlook for the year ahead via a webinar presentation by Fabrizio Carmignani, Dean (Academic) and Professor of Economics in the Griffith Business School, part of QJCCI Premium Member, Griffith University.
A lively discussion ensued in the Q&A section too, with questions ranging from the impact of Australia's domestic borders closing to how Australia and Japan might boost trade ties post-pandemic and whether Brisbane could become a global financial centre.
Polls conducted of attendees found "cautious optimism" to be the overriding sentiment for 2020/21, with most of those surveyed having suffered some impact from COVID-19.
For those who missed it, a recording of the event is available via this link.
The QJCCI thanks Griffith University and Professor Carmignani for the webinar, which was kindly hosted by QJCCI member, Republic PR
How can businesses ride out the COVID-19 pandemic and position themselves to succeed once the crisis ends?
QJCCI Premium Members Hall Chadwick QLD and Macpherson Kelley offered valuable accounting and legal business insights on what steps businesses can take now to keep trading and, more importantly, to succeed in the post-pandemic period, in this interactive webinar held on April 16.
Presenters Michael Cameron of Hall Chadwick QLD and Mark Metzeling of Macpherson Kelley covered a range of important topics:
* Trading implications of COVID-19 for multinationals with Australian subsidiaries and for Australian entities (including FIRB, incoterms, regulatory requirements (TGA approval, compliance with ACL)
* Managing cash flow (including how to correctly prioritise payments)
* Considerations for effecting a stand down, or terminating employees
* Types of finance available to business, and how to obtain loans from the banks (including via government assistance initiatives)
* Restructure rather than restart – a look at what can be done now to enable a cost-effective restructure for your business in the post-pandemic period.
For those who missed it, a recording of the webinar is available via this link.
Helpful Resources & FAQs
For those seeking further information:
Hall Chadwick has a business support information page setting out information about financial assistance, eligibility and timing for government support.
Macpherson Kelley has also looked at what COVID-19 means for businesses and individuals and put together an extensive FAQ’s page on their website that includes their latest thinking and advice.
The QJCCI looks forward to bringing more such timely events to members and friends, during the shutdown imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 outbreak has had a devastating impact on Australia-Japan travel and the QJCCI sends its very best wishes to all those affected by recent events.
While travel between Queensland and Japan is currently severely curtailed, the QJCCI looks forward to a resumption of normal operations and a brighter future for all involved in this vital trade and tourism market.
On March 12, QJCCI Premium Member, Virgin Australia together with the QJCCI and the JCCIB celebrated the launch of Virgin's Brisbane-Tokyo (Haneda) service, the first such direct service operating between the Queensland capital and Haneda airport, located in the heart of the world's biggest city.
VIP guests including Qld Tourism Minister Kate Jones MP, Japan Consul-General Kazunari Tanaka, Brisbane Airport CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff and Virgin Australia's CCO John McLeod together with QJCCI President Chris Whitecross helped attendees mark the event at the superb riverside venue provided by GOMA.
With Queensland currently the top state in Australia for Japan inbound tourism and some 620,000 Australians visiting Japan last year (up 13%) the potential for increased tourism and trade is enormous, pending an end to the coronavirus crisis.
The QJCCI thanks all attendees for another great event and we look forward to catching up again very soon.
Photos from the evening are available at the QJCCI's Facebook page.
Happy New Year 2020 (明けましておめでとうございます) from the Queensland Japan Chamber of Commerce & Industry!
The QJCCI welcomed in the Year of the Rat with our traditional new year networking event on February 13, kindly hosted by QJCCI Premium Member Hall Chadwick in Brisbane.
With the Tokyo Olympics set to mark another memorable year for Japan, together with this year's 35th anniversary of the Brisbane-Kobe Sister City relationship, there was plenty for attendees to anticipate.
Another key topic was Virgin Australia's March launch of its Brisbane-Tokyo (Haneda) service, with attendees welcoming the boost to bilateral business and tourism ties.
The strength of the Australia-Japan relationship has also been demonstrated during the recent bushfire disasters, when Japan provided vital transport aircraft and personnel in recognition of Australia's support during Japan's 2011 disasters and other events.
In response to the crisis, the QJCCI will be donating a portion of ticket sales from the event to the Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland (RFBAQ), supporting its efforts to protect rural Qld against bushfires.
For photos from the night, please visit the QJCCI Facebook page.