BRUSSELS, July 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
With a highly favourable business climate, global-leading innovation and one of the largest economic agreements in the world to be signed shortly, Japan is in a better position to attract business investment than ever before.
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This was the message a group of more than 120 industry experts, researchers, policy makers and corporate leaders heard at a packed seminar in downtown Brussels' Stanhope Hotel today. While Japan and the EU prepare for the historic signing of the Japan-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on July 17th, the Government of Japan hosted an engaging session that highlighted how the EPA will not only increase and modernize free, fair and open trade, but will also open up tremendous business opportunities between Japan and the EU.
The event, "The Japan-EU EPA: Expanding our Rules-Based, Free Trading Sphere to Create Economic Opportunities for Businesses," featured keynote addresses from H.E. Ambassador Kazuo Kodama, who highlighted how the EPA is the new model for comprehensive, modern, forward-looking economic agreements in the 21st century economic order, as well as Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, a Senior Fellow in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics. Lee-Makiyama, who was lead author of the European Commission's impact assessment study on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, shared his analysis on the implications of the EPA on the trade and investment environment and highlighted key findings from his new LSE research paper.
The panel discussion, moderated by Iana Dreyer, Editor of Borderlex, featured Mitsumaru Kumagai, Executive Managing Director, Chief Economist and Deputy Head of Research at Daiwa Institute of Research, Ltd., Danny Risberg, Former Chairman of Phillips Japan and Chairman of the European Business Council in Japan, and Pascal Kerneis, Managing Director of European Services Forum. Panellists discussed how Japan is well positioned for even higher growth and economic returns moving forward due to the Abenomics policy, promoting free, fair and open trade through agreements like the EPA, Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP 11) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), as well as creating markets for rapidly expanding health, life sciences and ICT sectors, and instituting ongoing growth-oriented regulatory reform.
The Japan-EU EPA will bring the two economies closer by easing market access for goods, services and investment, including a 100% removal of tariffs around industrial goods. It will also set transparent, stable, and predictable rules and advanced standards around intellectual property rights (IPR), labour and environmental regulations, opening up major trade and investment opportunities for Japan and the EU to increase collaboration and grow together in today's global economy.
The event, "The Japan-EU EPA: Expanding our Rules-Based, Free Trading Sphere to Create Economic Opportunities for Businesses," was co-hosted by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and supported by the Japan Business Council in Europe (JBCE).
"Companies and investors from both sides should seize this unique opportunity and enhance their collaboration; we are confident that this economic partnership will be a benefit to everyone and to a great extent, by creating an optimized trade and investment environment between Japan and the European Union." - H.E. Ambassador Kazuo Kodama.
"Japan and the European Union are opening a critical new stage of partnership, and the EPA should be a milestone in their relationship. One should not forget that still now, European companies are underinvesting in Japan, compared with their US peers." - M. Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Senior Fellow in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics.
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