FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2005
New York, NY -- Business leaders from the United States and Japan met today to help advance a shared agenda for promoting global economic growth.
The New York meeting, which included CEO members of Business Roundtable and Japan's Nippon Keidanren, covered topics ranging from trade expansion, health care, to climate change.
"As like-minded organizations, we share similar goals of fostering economic prosperity and creating jobs," said Hank McKinnell, Chairman of Business Roundtable and Chairman and CEO of Pfizer Inc. "It is important for business leaders to meet and share ideas, just as our countries' leaders are now meeting to share ideas at the G-8 Conference."
McKinnell co-hosted the meeting with Hiroshi Okuda, Chairman of Nippon Keidanren and Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation.
"Business Roundtable and Nippon Keidanren have a long history of working together on a wide range of economic and regulatory issues," said Okuda. "As business leaders from the world's two largest economies, we have a special responsibility to work together to promote policies that will stimulate global economic growth."
The meeting included dialogue on several key issues affecting the global society and economy:
Business Roundtable and Keidanren believe trade expansion is one of the most important catalysts for economic growth. The importance of successfully completing the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) was a primary topic for the CEOs.
Business Roundtable and Keidanren share the belief that the governments of the U.S. and Japan, along with the other G-8 countries, must take a leadership role in ensuring a successful completion to the Doha Round. In particular, Business Roundtable and Keidanren emphasized that the DDA's success depends on the negotiation of comprehensive market access agreements for agriculture, manufacturing and services.
Business Roundtable and Keidanren agreed to work together to strengthen the global protection of intellectual property rights.
Business Roundtable and Keidanren also believe that strengthening the economic partnership between Japan, the U.S. and East Asian countries will result in political stability and economic development of the region.
In the face of rapidly aging populations in both the U.S. and Japan, there is an urgent need to promote retirement and health security that is sustainable in the future. To that end, Business Roundtable and Keidanren share the common goals of improving the efficiency of the health care delivery system, and enhancing health care quality and accessibility for consumers.
The health care industries in both Japan and the U.S. serve as engines of growth, creating high-value added jobs while bringing new innovative treatments to patients in each country and around the world. These innovations are a fundamental part of maintaining a healthy and productive aging population.
Among other priorities including deploying an IT infrastructure in the health care system and improving patient access to information, the groups support initiatives by the two governments to create opportunities for domestic and global companies to invest and innovate. Both organizations also support action by the two governments to strengthen an infrastructure that encourages R&D and rewards innovation, speeds the introduction of new technology, enhances intellectual property protection in the U.S. and in Japan, and promotes health and wellness in health care policy.
Business Roundtable and Keidanren view climate change as an important and complex issue with significant potential environmental, energy supply and economic implications. The development and global deployment of new, highly efficient technologies that minimize greenhouse gas emissions and maximize carbon capture promise to be the most effective long-term response to concerns about climate change.
In the interim, both organizations agreed to strengthen their partnership and cooperation to take pragmatic and sustainable actions to reduce greenhouse gases by implementing voluntary, cost-effective measures to reduce, avoid, sequester or offset greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, greenhouse gases know no boundaries, and stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations cannot be achieved without global participation in a limitation-reduction effort.
"The economies of the United States and Japan have benefited greatly through our strong bilateral relationship," added McKinnell. "As business leaders, our meeting today illustrates our commitment to continue to work together to achieve our common goals and ensure that our countries' economies will continue to grow."
Keidanren and Business Roundtable will hold their next meeting at a mutually convenient time in 2006.
Business Roundtable (http://www.businessroundtable.org/) is an association of chief executive officers of leading corporations with a combined workforce of more than 10 million employees and $4 trillion in annual revenues. The chief executives are committed to advocating public policies that foster vigorous economic growth, a dynamic global economy, and a well-trained and productive U.S. workforce essential for future competitiveness.
Nippon Keidanren (http://www.keidanren.or.jp/) is the key representative organization for Japanese business and industry with more than 1,600 members. It represents the interests of more than 1,300 companies including about 100 foreign ownership, 130 industrial sector associations, and about 50 regional economic organizations. Keidanren is committed to contributing to the further development of the national and global economy. Keidanren proactively works towards better business environment both at home and abroad.