The 23rd annual Japan-Canada Business Conference is taking place in Tokyo and its surrounding area on May 15 and 16. The following are the conclusions of the general session held on May 15 after active discussion on ways and means for expansion and diversification of the bilateral economic relations among about 130 Japanese participants and 110 Canadian participants.
Japan-Canada economic relations have been developed based on Canada's export of primary commodities to the Japanese market. In order to expand the bilateral trade in food and resource sectors, Canadians are required to develop more competitive commodities for the Japanese market, while Japanese are required to make further efforts in deregulation.
It should be a priority to promote areas such as information technology and financial services to ensure needed diversification of bilateral trade and economic relations. It is important to facilitate communications among related companies and/or industrial associations, which will result in improved exchange of information on respective markets, products and services of individual companies. In parallel, it would be important for governments to improve business facilitation mechanisms, through such measures as exchanging business missions and experts, and provision of business-matching-services.
Concrete steps towards a Japan-Canada Free Trade Agreement will be an effective tool for promoting bilateral trade and investment. We propose to set up task forces in both Canada and Japan consisting of representatives from government, the business sector as well as academics to study the prospect of free trade.
We congratulate Keidanren and BCNI for their preparatory work for this meeting and ask both organizations to continue their works for the next Japan-Canada Business Conference to be held in Calgary on May 13 and 15, 2001. We also request both governments concerned to implement effective measures to help expansion and diversification of bilateral business activities.