2019 CONFERENCE - 18-19 SEPTEMBER 2019, KASHIWA, CHIBA, JAPAN
Overview of Japan New Zealand Business Council Annual Joint Conference
The Japan New Zealand Business Council (JNZBC) held its 46th Annual Joint Conference in Kashiwa-no-ha, Japan, on 18-19 September. Attended by over 140 participants, the conference was a great success.
Kashiwa-no-ha was an obvious venue as a ‘smart city’ and host to the All Blacks prior to the Rugby World Cup. The timing of the conference was ideal also with the New Zealand and Japanese Prime Ministers meeting for government-to-government consultations.
Under the theme ‘Japan and New Zealand: Pathways to Progress’ the agenda addressed key issues to both sides, including infrastructure and investment; sustainable development, renewable energy and forestry; agriculture - functional foods; innovation and start-ups. Discussion of the Maori economy and tourism, and linkages through rugby, underlined the importance of cultural and sports exchanges in building the social infrastructure between the two countries - key to doing business.
Discussion on the current economic situation in both countries and the outlook for international trade underlined the key importance of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the negotiations underway on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in providing a firm foundation bringing new opportunities for inclusive and sustainable growth.
The quality of the speakers was outstanding, and the industry tour of Kashiwa-no-ha showcasing the lead role of Mitsui Real Estate as developer coupled with visits to Tokyo and Chiba Universities, provided an excellent opportunity for delegates to take a first-hand look at the smart city concept focused on the environment, healthy living, creativity and communications.
The conference included good time also for informal business networking during the tea breaks and at the Welcome Reception and Farewell Dinner. With the conference taking place immediately before the Rugby World Cup, and in a country where relationships are key to doing business, it was great to see the power of sport in bringing New Zealand and Japan closer together. A robust haka performed by Kashiwa-no-ha school children at the Welcome Reception was testament to that, and it was no surprise to learn about the amazing number of 'likes’ that AIG is getting in support of its advertisements featuring the All Blacks in Japan.
The Japan New Zealand Business Council will hold its 47th Annual Joint Conference in Rotorua in October/November next year - final dates yet to be set. Please keep an eye on the JNZBC website www.jnzbc.com for details.