Foreign Affairs Council (Trade): extracts from the press conference by Neoklis SYLIKIOTIS, Cyprus Minister for Commerce, Industry and Tourism and Karel de GUCHT, Member of the EC in charge of Trade

Type: News   Reference: 90379   Duration: 00:03:30  Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council
End production: 29/11/2012   First transmission: 29/11/2012
On 29 November, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Cyprus Minister for Commerce, Industry and Tourism and Karel De Gucht, Member of the EC in charge of Trade held the press conference of the Foreign Affairs Council (Trade). The Council approved a mandate for the negotiation of a free trade agreement with Japan. It reviewed progress in negotiations that are currently underway on free trade agreements with Canada and Singapore. Trade relations with the southern Mediterranean were amongst the other items on the Council's agenda. Ministers discussed also trade and investment relations with Russia, following its accession to the WTO, and trade and investment relations with China.

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TIME DESCRIPTION DURATION
00:00:00 Title 00:00:05
00:00:05 General view of the speakers (2 shots) 00:00:08
00:00:13 SOUNDBITE (in Greek) Neoklis Sylikiotis, Cyprus Minister for Commerce, Industry and Tourism and President-in-office of the Council saying that: At today's meeting we started by taking stock of progress made on a whole series of proposals, as well as our relations with strategic trade partners. We looked at three legislative proposals; the so-called mnibus 1 and 2 Regulations concerning the decision making procedures in the area of trade. And we also looked at the regulation for dispute settlement and especially as regards as indirect foreign investments. 00:00:43
00:00:56 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:05
00:01:01 SOUNDBITE (in Greek) Neoklis Sylikiotis saying that: Furthermore, the Commission briefed the Ministers on the state of play of work to draw up Free trade agreement with Canada and Singapore. 00:00:16
00:01:17 Cutaway of cameraman 00:00:08
00:01:25 SOUNDBITE (in English) Karel De Gucht, Member of the EC in charge of Trade: I am delighted that the Council has today decided to give the Commission 'the green light' to start trade negotiations with Japan. We now have a clear mandate – confirmed by all the Member States - which sets out Europe's objectives. Just to give you several examples: The mandate sets out a strict and clear parallelism between the elimination of our duties and non-tariff barriers in Japan. 'Like for like' if you will. There's a safeguard clause to protect sensitive European sectors. And, we explicitly reserve ourselves the right 'to pull the plug' on the negotiations after one year if Japan does not live up to its commitments on removing non-tariff barriers. 00:00:51
00:02:16 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:07
00:02:23 SOUNDBITE (in English) by Karel De Gucht: No other partner has ever gone as far as Japan before we sat down at the negotiation table together. So lets not be ansioux, Europe is not naive. Europe is going in this negotiation with eyes wide open. 00:00:15
00:02:38 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:07
00:02:45 SOUNDBITE (in English) by Karel De Gucht: The Council issued negotiating directives for deep and comprehensive free trade areas with Southern Mediterranean partners in 2011. Since then the Commission has been engaged in a preparatory process with Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt – and today I reported to the Council on the progress made, meaning that in the coming weeks and months, the negotiations can start with Morocco and Tunisia. 00:00:30
00:03:15 Speakers leaving the conference 00:00:15
00:03:30 End 00:00:00
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