Japan Market Expansion Competition Welcomes New Supporter as JMEC 17 Begins

TOKYO, December 1, 2010 - The Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (NCCJ)
became the 16th foreign chamber of commerce to support the Japan Market Expansion
Competition (JMEC). The latest round of the JMEC program, which is now in its 17th year,
commenced on November 13th, it was announced today.

NCCJ was established in 2003 to replace the Norwegian Business Forum in Tokyo. Currently
with 60 members, the NCCJ has become an established focal center and forum for
companies and individuals involved in Norway-Japan business. Membership reflects a wide
range of sectors, from traditional industries such as seafood and shipping to high-tech
ventures providing the latest innovations. The NCCJ works closely with Team Norway, an
informal private-public sector group including the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo,
Innovation Norway, Norway-Japan Society, Scandinavian Tourist Board, and Scandinavian

NCCJ President Trond Varlid said: “We are very pleased to join JMEC as a supporting
chamber. Having been personally involved with JMEC in various capacities for many years, I
know that our members can benefit in a number of ways from the program—companies as
well as individuals. Companies looking for innovative business plans for particular projects at
a low cost will find JMEC a highly attractive option. For individuals looking to develop their
business skills and knowledge, JMEC is a unique opportunity to learn directly from
professional executives—lecturers, mentors and consultants—and by working on real
projects for real companies, not just academic business case studies.”

JMEC Chairperson Verena Urbschat said: “JMEC is continuously expanding our network of
supporting chambers, enabling us to reach an even wider audience in the business
community in Japan and considering potential project clients from across the world. The
support JMEC receives from foreign chambers in Japan has played a crucial role in making it
a successful business-training program and business-plan writing competition. Each
supporting chamber adds to the extremely international flavor of JMEC and we are very
pleased to welcome on board the Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in Japan.”

JMEC 17 First Phase Begins
JMEC 17 began on November 13 with the program’s first phase featuring a series of lectures
and workshops on training and skills development. This year’s program is attended by 58
participants from 21 countries, including a large number of participants from Japan. Their
average age is 33 years, with over one-third of them female.

JMEC Program Director Laura Loy said: “Having been involved with the program since
JMEC 13 (2006-07), I have seen more than 200 highly qualified and motivated individuals
graduate. The 58 participants that are joining JMEC 17 are no exception. Hailing from so
many different nations and with very diverse personal and professional backgrounds, they
are a unique and capable group. It is clear they are already extremely eager to get to work
on researching and writing the comprehensive business plans for their Project Clients and
the JMEC judges.”

JMEC—150 Business Plans since 1993
JMEC is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by 16 foreign chambers of commerce in
Japan. It sends up-and-coming executives and entrepreneurs (Participants) through a series
of lectures and workshops presented by respected professionals. Participants sign nondisclosure
agreements and are put into teams that are matched with foreign companies (Project Clients)
and an experienced mentor to research and compose a business plan for the Japanese market.
At the end of the program, JMEC judges nominate the three top teams and award them prizes.
Nearly 150 business plans have been completed since JMEC was established in 1993.

For more information:
Laura Loy, JMEC Program Director
Email: info [at] jmec.gr.jp
Website: www.jmec.gr.jp

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