The Nippon Keidanren and the Mexican Council for Foreign Trade (Comce) convened the 26th Japan-Mexico Businessmen's Joint Committee Meeting on October 15, 2003, in Tokyo. The Japanese side comprised some 60 participants, including businessmen and government observers, and was led by Mr. Yoshikazu Hanawa, Chairman of Nippon Keidanren's Japan-Mexico Economic Committee. There were some 50 participants from Mexican economic circles, including both the private sector and the government level. Mr. Tomas Gonzalez-Sada, Chairman of the Mexico-Japan Business Committee, was the head of the Mexican delegation. Ministers Canales and Derbez, as well as Vice Minister Villalobos and Dr. Dieck, Coordinator of Advisors to the Minister of Economy, were present at the Meeting.
As usual, the Meeting fulfilled the purpose of interchanging points of view regarding the situation of the business relations between Japan and Mexico, while at the same time reviewing aspects related to the bilateral trade, Japan's investment in Mexico, the state of our respective economies and the need to make Mexico a more competitive country in every aspect, especially when compared to Asian and Latin American countries.
The most important conclusions we reached follow :
We support the announcement of Prime Minister Koizumi and President Fox that will refer the importance of an expeditious conclusion of Japan-Mexico Economic Partnership Program (EPA). This Agreement strengthens the economic ties between Japan and Mexico and becomes more relevant and urgent in the light of the limited success achieved by the Round of negotiations of the World Trade Organization in Cancun, Mexico.|
The members from Japan and as well as Mexico, decidedly favor the idea of the Economic Partnership Agreement as the best means to increasing flows of trade and investment between the two countries.
|(2)||Japan should make its best efforts to increase investments in Mexico and thereby capitalize on the large Mexican market and the ones represented by the countries where on-going Free Trade Agreements with Mexico exist.|
|(3)||Mexico must accelerate its efforts to improve its competitiveness in relation to other Latin American and Asian countries, in vital areas such as : the improvement of infrastructure; the development of energy-related products and services; the strengthening of the enforcement of the law and its institutions; and the solution to security problems; to mention only some of them. Improvement of the business environment is indispensable to vitalize the business activities, and to further increase the foreign direct investment in Mexico.|
|(4)||Mexico needs to provide incentives to Japanese companies, especially medium-sized ones, to entice them to become an integral part of the so-called supporting industry for the large Japanese business concerns already operating in Mexico. The financial supports by Japan as well as Mexico is essential to strengthen supporting industry.|
From the views mentioned above, both the Japanese and Mexican delegations strongly hope for the conclusion of EPA as soon as possible. We expect that it will construct the economic relationship which realize the potential of both countries.