Extracts from the press conference by Karel De Gucht on the future deepening of Trade and political ties with Japan
Type: Complete press conference
End production: 18/07/2012 First transmission: 18/07/2012
On 18 July 2012, Karel De Gucht, Member of the EC in charge of Trade, gave a press conference in Brussels and announced the decision taken by the European Commission of asking Member States for the green light to open free trade negotiations with Japan, a major political and economic partner for Europe.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of Karel De Gucht, Member of the EC in charge of Trade, to the press conference on the Commission discusses future deepening of trade and political ties with Japan
||Soundbite by Karel De Gucht (in ENGLISH): The European Commission has today decided to ask Member States for the green light to open free trade negotiations with a major political and economic partner for us: Japan. And we did that for very good reasons I believe. First of all, Japan is our second biggest trading partner in Asia and a key partner with whom we share common values like democracy and the Rule of Law. If growth in the next twenty years is likely to come from Asia, then overlooking Japan would be a serious mistake in our trade strategy. Together already now, the EU and Japan, account for more than a third of the world's GDP.
||Cutaway of a photographer
||Soundbite by Karel De Gucht (in ENGLISH): I also know that there are concerns about the additional competition a deal with this developed economy would bring, and about Japan's current regulatory barriers. But let me assure you that we wouldn't start negotiations empty-handed. I have made it very clear to my colleagues today, that, after one year of starting the negotiations we will take stock on the progress Japan has made on dismantling the non-tariff barriers as set out in the roadmap we have agreed together if the implementation has not been satisfactory, I will stop the negotiations.
||Cutaway of the audience
||Soundbite by Karel De Gucht (in ENGLISH): Trade liberalisation remains the cheapest way we have to stimulate our economy. We don't need tax payers' money for this. If we conclude all of our Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) that are currently underway, we could boost the EU's gross domestic product (GDP) by more than 250 billion euros, which equals the size of Denmark or Austria. This is real growth, these are real jobs, and a trade deal with Japan would be a major piece in that puzzle. The ball is now in the Member States' court. We will now submit our negotiating directives to the Council and the Member States will discuss them after the summer. I would ask them to seize this opportunity and to give the Commission a mandate to start negotiations soon. I thank you for your attention.
||General view of the speakers