March 21, 2012
On March 21, 2012, Keidanren compiled a proposal entitled "A Call for Early Launch of Negotiations for Japan-Turkey Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)" and submitted the recommendation to the Japanese government and relevant parties.
With its young and diligent workforce, Turkey has been served as a manufacturing and export base of Japanese corporations to the EU market by enjoying the benefit of tariff reductions under the framework of the EC-Turkey Customs Union. In addition, Turkey has recently grown in attractiveness as a market for multiple reasons — an increasing population of about 74 million, a vigorous appetite for consumption, a steep rise in purchasing power, and a high demand in infrastructure development, etc.
Since Turkey has good access to countries and regions with high potential for the future economic growth, such as the Middle East and North Africa, Central Asia, and so forth, Japanese companies expect that Turkey plays a pivotal role as their integrated business hub covering such an expanded area. There is also a possibility of collaboration between Japanese and Turkish companies in the third countries as Turkish companies have accumulated extensive business experience and knowledge in these regions.
In view of high potential of the Turkish economy as well as strategic importance of Turkey to the business operations of the Japanese companies, the proposal emphasizes the necessity for early conclusion of a comprehensive and high-quality EPA with Turkey towards further expansion and diversification of bilateral economic ties. It also aims at establishing a "level playing fields for the Japanese companies" as well as a "business environment which leads to smoother and more efficient corporate activities".
The proposal strongly calls for the Japanese government to start the negotiations on the Japan-Turkey EPA as early as possible, illustrating the following items that are expected to be achieved through the EPA: reduction and elimination of tariffs on industrial goods, relaxing the requirements for granting work permits and simplification of their procedures, and strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights.