Over the past two weeks I was able to visit
members all around BC, from Vancouver to Revelstoke with many stops in-between.
The point of this annual trip is to find out how members are doing and how we
can help them in Japan. However, with the global recession deepening, I was
worried that my visits would be rather sombre this year.
While the pain came through loud and clear,
I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of good news that I also heard from
many Japan Program participants. Despite the fact that the process of going
from introduction to orders usually takes quite a bit of time in Japan, some
participants of last month’s Nikkei Show have already shipped containers and/or
are in the process of booking shipments. Even a company that took part with us
for the first time has already landed several projects!
Another member who has been pursuing opportunities
in Japan with us for a few years finally scored the big client they were after
just after I arrived in Vancouver. Miho gave the client one more presentation
on behalf of the member at our Tokyo office (someone has to stay behind and
work!) and within days they committed to a big project. Enjoying a celebratory
beer after we got this news was definitely one of the highlights of my trip.
I hope that I can enjoy many such celebratory
drinks this year with both new and old Japan Program members.