With the fifth round of negotiations on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)/Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to be held in Tokyo in the week of 31 March, and the EU's upcoming stocktaking of progress made by Japan based on the review clause in the mandate given to the European Commission, BUSINESSEUROPE and KEIDANREN hosted on 4 March 2014 the third sector-to-sector meeting at BUSINESSEUROPE's premises in Brussels.
On top of the challenges echoed by participants was that "in light of the fact that the EU and Japan are engaged in several other FTA negotiations, both sides should also be attentive to preempt any unnecessary regulatory divergence among the advanced economies and work out a common set of rules that is globally relevant" as was written in the joint BUSINESSEUROPE - KEIDANREN statement #1 issued in November last year.
Both sides recognized that without cooperation between the EU and Japan, which share fundamental values and principles, global rules would not take shape. Regulatory coherence and cooperation among the advanced economies would be conducive to promoting structural reforms necessary to generate growth and jobs.
The conclusion of an ambitious EU-Japan EPA/FTA along with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could serve as an important conduit to global rules. The agreement could also lay the foundation for expanding business opportunities in third countries, including the Asian growth markets.
At a crucial moment of the bilateral negotiations, BUSINESSEUROPE and KEIDANREN urge the negotiators to make progress on outstanding issues in view of the upcoming EU review. This would pave the way for enhancing the negotiation process towards the earliest possible conclusion of the agreement.
Held for the third time after 2012 and 2013, the BUSINESSEUROPE-KEIDANREN Sector-to-Sector meeting gathered important European and Japanese sector federations for an exchange of views on the ongoing bilateral EU-Japan FTA/EPA negotiations. At the meeting, each sector reported on what their sector's dialogue between the EU and Japan has achieved so far and the challenges ahead they have to tackle.
The meeting was attended by,
on the EU side, ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association), Cefic (the European Chemical Industry Council), COCIR (European Coordination Committee of the Radiological, Electromedical and Healthcare IT Industry), COTANCE (The Confederation of National Associations of Tanners and Dressers of the European Community), DIGITALEUROPE, EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) and UNIFE (the Association of the European Rail Industry),
and on the Japanese side, JAMA (Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc.), JCIA (Japan Chemical Industry Association), JEITA (Japan Electronics & Information Technology Industries Association), JIRA (Japan Medical Imaging and Radiological Systems Industries Association), JPMA (Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association), TCJ (Tanners' Council of Japan) and East Japan Railway Company.
Strategic Partnership Manager
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BUSINESSEUROPE is the leading advocate for growth and competitiveness at European level, standing up for companies across the continent and actively campaigning on the issues that most impact their performance. We speak for enterprise in 35 European countries whose national business federations are our direct members.
KEIDANREN (Japan Business Federation) is a comprehensive economic organization with a membership comprised of 1,316 representative companies of Japan, 121 nationwide industrial associations and 47 regional economic organizations (as of 24 February, 2014).