At the Japan Analytical Instruments Manufacturers' Association (JAIMA) Annual General Meeting held in May, I has been appointed as the President of JAIMA. I am willing to contribute to the further development of JAIMA, while continuing to maintain the historic traditions of this Association. I am very much looking forward to serving in this capacity.
In recent times the global economy has been impacted by issues such as intensifying trade frictions between the US and China, confusion surrounding the UK's impending exit from the EU, and conflict between the US and Iran. Furthermore, the immediate future has become unclear in Japan, with factors such as the government's economic assessment indicating a downturn for the first time in six years and two months.
Meanwhile, in terms of science and technology, technological innovation is rapidly advancing through digitalization, trends aimed at practical application such as AI, the IoT (Internet of Things), self-driving cars and 5G are becoming full-fledged, and we now stand on the verge of a new revolutionary technology era.
I believe that those of us in the analytical instruments industry must also proactively utilize cutting-edge technology such as AI and the IoT in our on-site capabilities, thereby increasing our technical strengths. We should also ensure that we are able to share inventive analytical technology with the world through coordination with government and academia, and remain capable of achieving secure growth even in such a revolutionary era.
For this purpose, at JAIMA we are proceeding with our activities in nine committees, in which our member companies participate, and more than twenty subcommittees, with our key activities of "Strengthening industry-academia-government collaboration & domestic and international networks", "Promoting standardized business" and "Providing technological information and implementing special lecture courses".
With regards to JASIS, this Association's largest project, last year's JASIS 2018 achieved major results, and was attended by almost the same number of users as in 2017, which was the largest attendance in our history. Furthermore, JASIS Kansai 2019, which was held for the first time ever in February 2019, was a resoundingly successful event, visited by attendees from all over West Japan, not only the Kansai region.
This fiscal year, we will continue to facilitate the growth of JASIS by offering opportunities for all of our visitors to discover new connections and ideas through further development of the Open Solutions Forum and the Life Sciences Innovation Zone, both popular arenas for providing solutions in respective fields. Furthermore, the online exhibition JASIS WebExpo will be held with expanded corporate participation. We will endeavor to provide high value-added services such as enabling exhibitors to share information about their products and technology outside of the JASIS session, while also enabling the acquisition of customer information.
In addition, via overseas dispatch and the arena of JASIS, we will continue to promote the increased globalization of JASIS with strengthened exchange with overseas organizations in America, Asia and Europe.
JAIMA was launched in 1960 as a private organization, and was reorganized into a general incorporated association in 2013. Next year marks the sixtieth anniversary of our establishment. JAIMA has been able to continue our activities over this long period of time due to the support and cooperation of our analytical instrument users, our member companies, the Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology, and all our collaborators at associated scientific societies and organizations.
Now and in the future, I will strive to the best of my ability for the development of this Association and of the analytical instrument industry. I deeply appreciate your continuing support and cooperation.