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French Japanese Centenary Business Summit: the future, now

On November 19, 2018, the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (CCI France Japon) held its first Business Summit at the prestigious Nikkei Hall, in the heart of Otemachi, one of Tokyo's most vibrant business and financial districts.

Seizing the opportunity of its centenary celebrations in 2018, Japan's oldest foreign Chamber of Commerce organized an event as diverse as France's presence in the world's third largest economy, and where Japanese and French voices would be equally represented. Large companies as well as SMEs, well-known brands and newcomers, interested in the future gathered for a day of exchanges. In all, the first edition of the summit drew 800 delegates from France and Japan, making it one of the largest French Japanese conferences in Tokyo.

Delegates heard from an impressive lineup of panelists and keynote speakers including CEOs, government officials, industry leaders as well as researchers and professors on the themes that will define the future of economic and business relations between France and Japan, including economic trends, geopolitics, transportation, security and defence, retail, new energies, the future of society and business, innovation and much more.

The day started with opening speeches by Minister of State, attached to the French Minister of Economy and Finance Agnès Pannier-Runacher and Japanese State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yoshihiro Seki on looking back on a century of cooperation and influence to create a shared future. France and Japan's business relations have never been deeper, and are involving more and more partners.

Opening keynote speeches were followed by 2 plenary sessions, the first one during which leading economists detailed what will shape French and Japanese economies in 2019 and beyond and the second one shedding light on Japan's geopolitical position in Asia. 6 conferences followed throughout the afternoon during which specialized topics were addressed by top-notch experts and practitioners from both countries.

The Business Summit was also an unprecedented opportunity to meet and exchange for all actors of the economies across many industries 4 French regions, through the 3-days program “100 French SMEs in Japan” co-organized by the CCI France Japan and Business France, had sent high-level delegates to inquire about opportunities in the Japanese market. Christophe Lecourtier, CEO of Business France, France's export's public body, had come as well to introduce a reform for which Japan is a test country. 35 startups, French & Japanese, gathered for a "Meet and Connect" afternoon session where they could introduce their projects to an audience of potential investors. A delegation of the French National Bar Council of about 100 lawyers had also come, using the summit to strengthen its relationships with Japan.

The Business Summit was followed the next day by the France-Japan 100th Anniversary Party at the trendy Trunk hotel with most participants and speakers.

The Summit did not answer all questions regarding the future. But given the many positive feedbacks received and requests for more of this type of high-level business events the CCI France Japon is delighted to announce that there will be another, enriched, edition of the France Japan Business Summit in 2019!

To find out more about 2019 France Japan Business Leaders Forum and its Business Summit, click here
To take a look at 2018 French Japanese Centenary Business Summit program, click here.

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France Japon Eco N° 158