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Policy Proposals  Latin America and Caribbean A Call for Early Conclusion of the Japan-Mercosur EPA A Statement from the Business Community at the Close of the Symposium

November 29, 2023
Japan Business Federation (Keidanren)
Japan-Brazil Economic Committee
Committee on Latin America and the Caribbean

Today, Keidanren hosted a symposium aiming for the early conclusion of an economic partnership agreement (EPA) between Japan and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur). We were pleased to welcome the ambassadors to Japan of the four Mercosur countries to this event.

Mercosur is a large economic bloc with a population of 300 million and GDP in excess of 2 trillion US dollars. Japan exports many industrial products, including automobiles, machinery, and electric equipment, to Mercosur. In addition, Japanese companies have established more than 1,000 business sites in the bloc and contributed to local socioeconomic development for many years by creating employment and growing exports. Japanese imports from the Mercosur region include iron ore, lithium and other mineral resources that are essential for economic activities and for people's lives, as well as corn, soybeans and other livestock feed. Thus, Japan and Mercosur enjoy a mutually complementary relationship. In strategic terms, they are also extremely important economic partners.

We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our call for the early conclusion of the Japan-Mercosur EPA as an institutional platform to further develop economic relations between Japan and Mercosur with an eye to the future. With the EU, South Korea, and other countries already advancing their EPA negotiations with Mercosur, we specifically call on the Japanese government and the ruling party to take prompt action to ensure that Japan does not fall behind on trade and investment.

From next month, Brazil will hold the G20 presidency and, next year, Peru will chair the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Many Japanese political leaders will visit Latin America in the lead-up to the autumn summit next year. Japan must not miss this opportunity for the early realization of the Japan-Mercosur EPA.

Regional Affairs