The following "New Year Message 2016" was addressed to all officers and employees by President Tatsuo Yasunaga.
Happy New Year.
Reflecting on 2015
Nine months have now passed since I became CEO. With weak commodity markets, China's economic slowdown and increasing geopolitical risk, it has been a challenging time to assume leadership of our company, and I want to thank everyone in our organization for their warm support and hard work.
The climate is not going to get any easier, and it is clear to me that we need a heightened sense of urgency, particularly in commodities where a recovery is likely to take quite some time. So today, I would like to share my thoughts on how we can strengthen and grow our business as a unified group. I also want to talk about the important role played by every individual in Mitsui.
But first, let me recap progress we have made in the first half of the year.
Operationally, projects are progressing well in many areas. In resources and energy, we are strengthening the three key elements of reserves, output and production cost. We have been developing our chemicals, infrastructure and mobility businesses in the Americas, including some asset recycling. And thanks to everyone's efforts, we have built some excellent momentum with innovative projects in food & agriculture, ICT and many other areas.
Personally, I have been putting into practice my philosophy of ‘focusing on the business frontline'. I have visited numerous business locations around the world, working to enhance relationships at the highest level.
I believe that facilitating these relationships is one of my core responsibilities as company president. And I also believe it is your responsibility to expand these relationships into new opportunities for Mitsui.
With this in mind, let's look at two key foundations for growth: Mitsui as a consolidated, unified group, and Mitsui as a powerful team of leading individuals.
Working together as a unified group
Our affiliated companies are the foundation of our business, and the success and growth of Mitsui can be measured by the success and growth of our affiliates. I want to realize the full potential of each of our affiliates by taking advantage of all Mitsui's resources and assets, and ensure maximal collaboration between all our affiliates and business units under a single, shared vision.
Board meetings at affiliate companies need to become venues for active discussion on business development and direction. Affiliate companies and business units need to generate ideas together and execute plans from a wider perspective.
The Mitsui & Co. group has more than 47,000 employees in 460 companies. Think about how much knowledge and potential there must be among our colleagues that we have not yet discovered. The key to unleashing this potential is to work more closely together every day. In every country. With every affiliate. Across every business unit.
Everyone is a leader
My second point for the year ahead is that everybody can play a leading role. It may sound strange to talk about a group of 47,000 leaders, but if we each take the lead to increase our individual productivity and competitiveness, we can each help lead Mitsui into the future.
There is another aspect to individual leadership, and that is developing an ability to see the big picture. In my experience, the big picture of Mitsui is something that emerges as you gain experience and build connections outside your immediate zone of work. When projects overlap with areas covered by other business units, consider the big picture. Ask other units for their advice, and seek their collaboration in finding the best solution for Mitsui as a whole.
Looking ahead to 2020
As the last year of our current medium-term management plan, 2016 will be a transition period into our next medium-term plan and crucial to establishing where we stand in 2020. As I mentioned earlier, the business environment is challenging, but if we proceed with courage and creativity we will enjoy our work and build a higher quality business.
Thank you for joining me today. I wish you and your families a healthy, happy and rewarding year.