EU-Japanese industrial relations and co-operation were top of the agenda in Tokyo on 8 and 9 April.
The EC Director General for Enterprise and Industry Daniel Calleja attended meetings to discuss measures for increasing cooperation between the two regions and exchange best-practice experiences.
At the EU Japan Industrial Policy Dialogue. Mr Calleja met with the Vice Minister for International Affairs, Norihiko Ishiguro at the annual meeting to discuss measures for increasing cooperation between the two regions and exchange best-practice experiences.
The two administrations discussed their respective policy initiatives, i.e. the recent ‘Industrial Renaissance Communication’ for the EU and Japan’s ‘Growth Strategy’. Particular focus was given to measures that support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the two regions. The co-funded EU-Japan Centre was especially commended for its work in this regard.
A series of Working Groups and discussions was held on topics ranging from sustainability, competitiveness, cooperation on Space Policy and Corporate Social Responsibility.
Both parties agreed that most benefit would be gained in the future from bi-lateral cooperation in new or emerging issues where fully-fledged frameworks are not already in place.
As part of busy schedule, Mr Calleja also attended a round table of around 50 Japanese business leaders under the heading “EU-Japan Cooperation – New Opportunities for Global Growth.”
The meeting addressed the ongoing negotiations of the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) / Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and sustainability issues.
The round table emphasised that as two of the world’s most advanced economies, the EU and Japan need to play a leadership role to promote global regulatory co-operation and create growth opportunities for the entire world. The BRT also urged the EU and Japan to extend cooperation in areas such as innovation, SMEs and the environment.
During the meeting, the BRT agreed on a set of recommendations to be submitted to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.
This was the 17th year the Industrial Policy Dialogue has been held, while the EU-Japan Business Round Table has been running since 1999. The events represent a mutual desire to improve industrial relations, develop trade and investment and encourage cooperation on areas of common interest such as innovation, energy and industrial standards.