Press conference by Karel De Gucht, Member of the EC, on the EC proposal to open negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with Japan
Karel De Gucht, Member of the EC in charge of Trade, gave a press conference to announce that the EC decided to ask the Member States for their agreement on opening negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with Japan. Negotiating directives will be submitted to the Council which will have to give the Commission a mandate to start negotiating. Japan is the EU's second biggest trading partner in Asia, after China, and together the EU and Japan account for more than a third of world GDP. A trade deal with Japan could boost the EU's GDP by almost one per cent and EU exports to Japan could increase by one third.