On November 19, The Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, Herman Van Rompuy and José Manuel Barroso, met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, at the 21st EU-Japan Summit in Tokyo. Leaders reiterated their commitment to the earliest possible conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two regions.
The Japan Business Council in Europe (JBCE) applauds the results of the Summit, which comes a few weeks after the third round of negotiations for the EU-Japan FTA took place in Brussels. JBCE hopes that the progress made at the Summit will warrant advancement towards the rapid conclusion of an agreement.
The JBCE reaffirms its strong support for a deep and comprehensive FTA that will strengthen bilateral trade relations between the EU and Japan and deliver significant economic benefits. A well negotiated FTA will offer economic growth to both partners, but also to third countries trading with either of the two parties.
Studies by the European Commission shows that an ambitious FTA is projected to boost EU exports to Japan by 32.7% and Japanese exports to the EU by 23.5%. This will allow the EU’s GDP to increase up to 1.9%, and to create up to 400,000 jobs in the EU by 2020.
“An EU-Japan FTA is a huge opportunity for both regions. This has been recognised by 20 European trade associations who recently signed a joint statement calling for the earliest possible conclusion of an ambitious FTA”, said JBCE Secretary General Yukihiro Kawaguchi. “Continuous and intensive dialogue among industries and governments on both sides is important to further enhance the bilateral relationship. We, JBCE, are committed to continuing in our role as a bridge between the two regions”.
The JBCE calls upon the European and Japanese leaders to pursue their efforts following the Summit. Both regions should maintain the objective of a swift conclusion of an ambitious deal that will shape the world’s economy for the years to come.
 A joint statement was published on November 12 by 20 European trade associations