FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2007
New York, NY -- Leading chief executive officers from the United States and Japan met today to discuss a common agenda for promoting global economic growth. Today's meeting in New York, which included CEO members of Business Roundtable and Japan's Nippon Keidanren, covered critical topics such as international trade, relations with China, and climate change.
"Japan and the United States share much in common, and the economies, businesses and workers of both nations will benefit significantly if we work together to promote global economic growth," said Harold McGraw III, Chairman, President and CEO, The McGraw-Hill Companies, and Chairman of Business Roundtable. "Today we agreed on several top priorities, which will form the basis for a collaborative effort in 2007."
Fujio Mitarai, Chairman & CEO, Canon Inc. and Chairman of Nippon Keidanren co-hosted the meeting with Mr. McGraw.
"Nippon Keidanren and Business Roundtable both recognize the importance of continuing to solidify and deepen the economic partnership between our two nations," said Mitarai. "It is critical that as business leaders of two or the world's largest economies, we take every advantage to work together to promote global economic growth."
The meeting included dialogue on several key issues affecting the global community and economy:
Business Roundtable and Keidanren believe trade expansion is one of the most important catalysts for economic growth, and believe that re-starting the Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations is of critical importance to the global economy.
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 Doha Round's success depends on the negotiation of comprehensive agreements for agriculture, manufacturing and services ? and urged negotiators to return to the table no later than Spring 2007.
Business Roundtable and Keidanren also believe that formalizing and strengthening the economic partnership between the U.S. and Japan via a bilateral free trade agreement would be of great benefit to both nations, and issued a statement articulating that goal (see attached).
Keidanren and Business Roundtable recognize that China is a vital trading partner for both the U.S. and Japan and, as such, offers significant economic opportunity for economic growth. At the same time, the business leaders understand that the challenges presented by China's rapid growth are real, and must be addressed through both bilateral and multilateral agreements.
The two organizations have agreed to work with each other to encourage China to increase regulatory transparency, better protect intellectual property rights and further liberalize market access in services, among others issues.
Business Roundtable and Keidanren view climate change and sustainable growth as important and complex issues with significant environmental, energy supply and economic implications. Increased global interest in environmental, economic and social progress, coupled with the growing concern over natural resource constraints and rising greenhouse gas levels are encouraging the private sector to accelerate innovation and action.
Companies are stepping up and pursuing growth opportunities for increasing energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas intensity, improving water quality and availability and building sustainable communities -- puzzles often left to government and regulatory bodies to tackle. While it will take the collective actions of every nation, industry and company to address these growth challenges, Keidanren and Business Roundtable agreed to leverage their partnership and cooperation to provide leadership among the world business community, global industry peers and policymakers to promote proactive and voluntary business efforts to maximize resource efficiency and minimize greenhouse gas emissions.
Keidanren and Business Roundtable believe voluntary measures by companies are the most efficient means to promote research, development and deployment of technologies that reduce, avoid, offset or sequester greenhouse gas emissions as well as to build sustainable growth strategies into business operations.
"Japan and the United States are two of the most powerful and influential economies in the world," continued McGraw. "Market forces are encouraging business leaders in our countries to turn social and environmental risks into opportunities for innovation and economic growth. These voluntary efforts are creating solutions with inherent market value, which are the only solutions that are sustainable over the long term."
Leaders of the Nippon Keidanren and Business Roundtable last met in July of 2005. The organizations are committed to continuing a close relationship for the benefit of the U.S. and Japanese economies.
Business Roundtable (www.businessroundtable.org) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with $4.5 trillion in annual revenues and more than 10 million employees. Member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock markets and represent over 40 percent of all corporate income taxes paid. Collectively, they returned $112 billion in dividends to shareholders and the economy in 2005.
Roundtable companies give more than $7 billion a year in combined charitable contributions, representing nearly 60 percent of total corporate giving. They are technology innovation leaders, with $90 billion in annual research and development spending -- nearly half of the total private R&D spending in the U.S.
Nippon Keidanren (www.keidanren.or.jp) is the key representative organization for Japanese business and industry with 1,662 members. It represents the interests of 1,351 leading companies, 130 industrial sector associations, and 47 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.