Dear Members and Friends
I am glad to report that our 28th Annual General Meeting (AGM) which took place on May 29th in the Zunfthaus zur Meisen in Zurich was well attended and that all items on the agenda which required an approval by the SJCC members were approved.
We were especially pleased by the attendance of the new Ambassador of Japan to Switzerland, Mr. Ryuhei Maeda, who used the opportunity to introduce himself. Unlike the previous ambassadors he is not a delegate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; he made the major part of his career in the Ministry of Transport. In this capacity Mr. Maeda acquired a great amount of experience in negotiating complex transport issues with many countries, notably with the US.
The luncheon speaker of our AGM was Urs Rohner, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse Group AG. Mr. Rohnerʻs comments centered around major topics of our banking industry which at present are hottly and widely debated. His statements concering his bank were well noted by the audience.
The following can be reported as extract from my annual report regarding our last yearʻs activities:
- Our Teasurer and Deputy President, Felix Bossert, provided an overview on the financial situation of the chamber confirming that the finances are in good order and sound. Special thanks were expressed to the ,Deloitteʻ auditing company for undertaking the audit free of charge.
- Our Managing Director, Paul Peyrot, stated that the membership base continued to be stable at over 300. However, there is a slight shift from corporate to individual members. Last yearʻs decision to increase our membership dues, which became effective for the first time this year, was supported by our members.
- The Chairman of our Scholarship Fund, Paul Dudler, gave an overview on this for our chamber important endeavour: In the past the Fund was able to support over 200 young professionals to study the Japanese language and acquire some business experience in Japan. However, the financing has become a problem due to the fact that in recent years it became very difficult to attract corporate sponsors. This has the effect that in future we will be able to sponsor a smaller number of applicants.
- Again, we did draw the attention on the fact that in the year 2014 the 150-year anniversary of the signing of the ,Treaty of Amity and Tradeʻ between Switzerland and Japan followed by the establishment of diplomatic relations will be commemorated. There is a host of activities planned by the many Japan/Switzerland-related organisations. We will continuously update you on our plans as this marks an important milestone in our bilateral relations. Please visit our web site www.sjcc.ch to get pertinent information
In closing, let me express also on behalf of our Board our thanks for your support and patronage. We will endeavor to maintain the Swiss-Japanese Chamber of Commerce as an important platform for networking and exchanging views on major developments.