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DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the Council’s decision to launch a Free Trade Agreement negotiation with Japan


29 Nov 2012


EU Priorities 2020
Global Europe
Trade & Society

BRUSSELS, Thursday, 29 November: DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the Council’s decision to launch a Free Trade Agreement negotiation with Japan.

Increased exports, easier trading and improved supply chains are all important and will help jobs and growth in Europe. An economic partnership such as the FTA between the EU and Japan will pave the way to us realising these. Some estimate it could be worth €33 billion each year to the European economy.

John Higgins, Director General of DIGITALEUROPE said today: ‘We welcome the Council’s decision that now gives the European Commission the mandate to negotiate with Japan on behalf of the 27 EU Member States. We hope the negotiations can work quickly towards a successful outcome.

A solid trading partnership with Japan will affect more than just the free flow of goods and services; it will reinforce the value of trade globally. Together with Japan the EU has an opportunity to promote open and free trade to other economies world-wide. Free trade is one way to deliver long-term and sustainable economic returns. For this partnership to be successful it must tackle the main barriers that hinder European and Japanese companies trading together.

John Higgins noted that ‘DIGITALEUROPE represents the digital technology companies active in Europe and we think the potential prize is worth the effort of identifying and dismantling these barriers, whether these are tariff or other obstacles. Harmonizing Japanese and European systems and standards, facilitating the distribution of digital technology products and developing international rules would enable the EU and Japan to work together to combat protectionist policies adopted by some newly-emerging economies in the form of systems and standards that give preferential treatment to their own industries’.

Japan and Europe face many common societal challenges too, such as mitigating dangerous climate change, an ageing population, rising healthcare demands and the growing threat of cyber-attacks. A closer partnership will help us both deal more effectively with these challenges.


Media and interview enquiries

Jonathan Murray - DIGITALEUROPE, Director T. +32 2 609 53 28 E.