The 23rd Japan-Mexico Businessmen's Joint Committee Meeting was held by COMCE and Keidanren, with the participation of 120 businessmen from the Mexican side and 70 from the Japanese side, in Mexico City on Monday, 10th April, 2000. The two delegations discussed, among other things, the possibility and advantages of a free trade agreement (FTA) between Japan and Mexico.
The premise of the discussion was that an FTA between the two countries should be a comprehensive one, which would include tariff elimination as well as rules on investment, government procurement, anti-dumping and intellectual property, together with effective dispute settlement mechanisms. During an active exchange of views, the two sides reaffirmed the following points.
Firstly, an FTA would promote trade relations between the two countries. The effect of this would be prominent particularly in the export of electronics devices, parts and components from Japan to Mexico.
Secondly, an FTA would help increase Japanese investment in Mexico. Japanese investors would be benefited by tariff elimination on parts and components imported from Japan for their production. Also important in this light would be rules on the promotion and protection of investment which lead to a substantial improvement of the investment environment.
Thirdly, an FTA would encourage Japanese firms to participate in infrastructure projects in Mexico by guaranteeing them a level playing field with their competitors in NAFTA and the EU in terms of cost competitiveness.
Based on the above-mentioned findings, both delegations strongly expressed during the discussion that they welcome the on-going talks between both governments for an investment treaty, hoping that it will be highly effective including in particular the principle of National Treatment as to the permission for an investment, and a ban on all performance requirements (e.g. local contents requirement, technology transfer requirement, etc.).
More important is that both delegations confirmed that they strongly recommend the building of a consensus leading to an early start of negotiations toward a Free Trade Agreement between Japan and Mexico.