Jan. 04, 2017
New Year’s Message for 2017
A Happy New Year to everyone.
I would like to send a New Year’s greetings from Tokyo to everybody in the Sumitomo Corporation Group worldwide.
◎ Business environment
In the political arena, the year 2016 began with the UN, US, and EU lifting sanctions against Iran. New governments came to power in Myanmar, Vietnam, and the Philippines; and a new administration took office in Brazil.
We also vividly recall the outcomes of the Brexit referendum and the US presidential election, which defied the expectations of many.
Meanwhile, both the developed and emerging countries have enjoyed increasing economic stability. There are signs of recovery in mineral resource and energy prices, and at the end of the year, OPEC reached an agreement to reduce production. The oil-producing countries have been no longer able to endure low prices and are therefore returning to the cooperative position, which suggests a reduced risk of significant drops in crude oil prices.
In its economic forecast for this year, Sumitomo Corporation Global Research summed up as “a reset for a global order - politics take the lead and economics follow along”.
There are hopes that the current positive trends will continue this year.
However, we anticipate that the impacts and effects of developments surrounding the Trump administration and Brexit will become more apparent during the year.
This year will also see presidential elections in France and Iran, and general elections in the Netherlands and Germany.
We must pay attention to future prospects to see what impacts these political events will have on the economy.
In the meantime, the business world has experienced more technological developments in areas including IoT, AI, and driverless cars. There has also been a change in people’s behaviors, with a shift in focus from ownership to usage, notably with cars, giving rise to new business opportunities.
I believe that the various changes anticipated over the coming year offer us a chance to build a new earning base for the Group. I want to see all of you collaborating across organizations to stay a step ahead in dealing with change and create many more new businesses.
◎ Our way for 2017
This year we will enter the final year of our three year mid-term management plan, BBBO2017. We must accomplish the matters which we have planned and deliberated until now, and set the stage for our next strategy.
There are two slogans which I want everybody to remember so that all the members of our Group can work in unity and proceed forward this year.
◎ Act Now
The first slogan is “act now”.
Our Group has the strategies and plans, many of which promise future growth in earnings, and some which are already proving successful.
We must be confident in the strategies and plans illustrated thus far, and act now, considering this is the last year of BBBO2017.
What makes working at a trading and investment company like ours interesting comes from immediate action, the new discoveries that it brings, and the repetition of this process, thereby earning success.
We do not need armchair critics - let us keep positive and act now even in tough circumstances.
◎ Half & Double
The second slogan is “half & double”.
Employing the slogan, we will reform our daily work practices.
Our Group will pursue to double our success by undertaking change and strive to create new value, and all the while to resolutely cut unnecessary things in half.
We must offer value, which is fit to the new demands of the age, to our business partners and stakeholders, striving to stably and continuously expand our revenue base.
To this end, it is crucial that we discard whatever is not fit to these demands.
◎ Sense of Responsibility
We need to have sense of responsibility to approach these slogans: “act now” and “half & double” as a personal challenge.
The value generated in our Group’s businesses is the aggregate of your individual challenges and successes in addressing difficulties head-on and overcoming them through trial-and-error and hard work.
All of the Group members must go forth and collect information themselves, viewing things as their own business, and thinking and taking action accordingly.
◎ Step forward toward the next 50 to 100 years
Adhering to integrity and sound management as principles, acting in the public interest and for public benefit rather than pursuing easy gains, and undertaking business with an enterprising spirit have allowed Sumitomo and the Sumitomo Corporation Group to come as far as they have.
Moving forward without making changes to our fundamental guidelines, each of us must produce achievements that we can leave to the next generation.
In 2019, our company will celebrate its centennial. This is not a goal, but rather a starting point for the following 50 or even 100 years.
Believe in what we have achieved until now, have sense of responsibility to view all matters as your own business, and do your best, bearing in mind the slogans: “act now” and “half & double”.
In closing, I pray that this year will be a fulfilling and happy one for each of you and for your families.
Corporate Communications Department,