EU and Japan should work to conclude a free-trade agreement this year
On the occasion of the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Brussels on 3 May 2016 BUSINESSEUROPE recalls the importance of concluding an ambitious trade and investment agreement between the EU and Japan. The EU and Japan have been negotiating for just over three years now and there have been 16 rounds of negotiations.
Talking about what is at stake Emma Marcegaglia, President of BUSINESSEUROPE, said: "Both sides are familiar with each other's positions on the outstanding issues, and difficult decisions will now have to be made to reach a balanced compromise. This means a strong political commitment from the EU and Japan to speed up negotiations without jeopardising substance".
We take note of the TPP - Transpacific Partnership Agreement - which Japan concluded with a number of other countries including the USA, but TPP is not a template or benchmark for the EU-Japan negotiations.
"We aim for an ambitious agreement. We expect much more from the EU-Japan free-trade agreement in terms of market access, procurement, removal of non-tariff barriers, geographical indications, services and investment."
BUSINESSEUROPE also wants this agreement to provide for a strong mechanism to reinforce regulatory cooperation between relevant ministries and agencies on both sides.
"It is very important that the EU-Japan free-trade agreement becomes a ‘living agreement’. In designing and developing regulations, the EU and Japan should each take into account the other party’s regulatory approach, relevant international standards and their impacts on bilateral trade and investment. This is particularly important to ensure no new barriers emerge and to preserve the gains from the EU-Japan FTA".
Japan is the EU’s second biggest trading partner in Asia after China. The conclusion of this agreement is key to reinforce EU’s presence in Asia, one the fastest growing regions in the world.