Call for a Free Trade Agreement with Japan Joint statement by European business organisations

Date

14 Nov 2012

Sections

Global Europe
Innovation & Enterprise
Trade & Society

Press release

The signatories of this statement strongly call upon the EU and Japan to launch the negotiations for a deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) as soon as possible. An FTA will deliver significant economic benefits and contribute to the development of both the EU and Japan.

An FTA with Japan has the potential to improve market access and regulatory coherence, and thus expand trade and investment, enhance productivity, contribute to mutually enhanced competitiveness of both economies, promote economic growth, and increase employment. As presented in the European Commission’s Impact Assessment Report on EU and Japan Trade Relations1, an ambitious FTA could increase GDP in the EU by 1.9%2. This would translate into a €319.3 billion boost to the European economy.3

Our plea refers to a deep and comprehensive Agreement, in line with the European Trade, Growth & World Affairs Strategy (2010)4, which would nourish trade potential and secure a level playing field for European operators.

Seamless, barrier-free markets between the EU and Japan would enable business to be conducted freely. Gains will be particularly significant if both tariffs and non-tariff barriers are eliminated or at least substantially reduced leading to real openness of the market. Insertion of a rendezvous clause by the European Commission in the negotiating Roadmap could be efficient for achieving this aim. The agreement should also cover significant commitments in services, in public procurement, in IPR, in investment protection and in regulatory cooperation disciplines.

The EU and Japan economic relations are vital for European companies, whose business links with Japan extend beyond import/export to include alliances and partnerships in supply chains, joint research projects and direct investments.

The EU and Japan have a shared interest to work in tandem to secure an open and free trade environment to effectively prevent the rise of protectionism which threatens to strangle economic performance globally.

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1 http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/12/st12/st12825-ad01.en12.pdf

2 assuming symmetric NTM cost reductions

3 in the case of symmetric NTM cost reductions

4 http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2010/november/tradoc_146955.pdf