Der Botschafter - Reden & Beiträge

Zum frühzeitigen Abschluss des Abkommens über eine Wirtschaftspartnerschaft (EPA) zwischen Japan und der EU- Auszug aus der Eröffnungsansprache beim Japan Forum der WKO am 3. April 2014

Japan Forum

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me take this opportunity to make a short comment on the importance of enhancing our cooperation framework to create a better business environment in the context of Japan-EU relations.

Japan and the EU have now a unique opportunity to conclude an ambitious Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The fifth round of negotiations is taking place in Tokyo this week. In these negotiations, we aim to establish rules across a broad range of areas such as the harmonization of regulations, non-tariff measures, intellectual property rights, investment, services and government procurement.

Building up global networks of Economic Partnership is an essential part of the "third arrow" of Prime Minister Abe's "Abenomics". This is the reason why Japan decided to engage in Regional Trade Agreements such as the Japan-EU EPA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is comprised of the 10 ASEAN members, plus 6 additional members; Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India. Considering the regional dynamics in Asia, Japan is positioned to become a gateway to the region.

I am grateful to the Austrian government and the social partners for their positive attitude towards the FTA/EPA negotiations with Japan. I would like to ask you to support its early conclusion. At the same time, I think Austria has a lot of potential for gaining further benefits from a closer cooperation with Japan. Austria is well known by the Japanese people for its rich culture and tourist attractions. But we should not forget that Austria has a highly developed industry with a variety of products and technologies.

Japan still enjoys one of the highest GDP per capita in the world, and it has a diverse and rich market that would serve as a showcase for the Asian market. A success in the Japanese market would facilitate European firms' expansion in Asia. I believe you should take advantage of Japan and its dense regional supply chain to expand and enhance your economic horizon in this vibrant region.

I sincerely hope that today's Forum will provide you with first-hand information on the advantages and opportunities of doing business in and with Japan, and that the Austrian business people will profit from this chance to fine-tune their efforts so they will lead them to excellent results.

Thank you.

Makoto Taketoshi
Botschafter von Japan