Urgent Message from the EBC | The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in Japan (NCCJ)

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Wed 22 June 2011

Urgent Message from the EBC

The 20th EU-Japan Summit was held on 28 May in Brussels.  In his press statement, European Commission Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said, “We have agreed to seek mandates for negotiations and in parallel to conduct a scoping exercise to define the parameters of an ambitious comprehensive agreement that tackles all trade barriers – from procurement and investment barriers to tariffs and non-tariff measures.

Such an EU-Japan FTA would enhance opportunities for trade and business on both sides, and release untapped potential in our economic relationship.” The EBC has been asked by the EU Delegation to work closely with Commission experts during this FTA scoping exercise and formal negotiations to submit key issues and the relevant technical details for potential inclusion in the agreement. 

This is an historic moment in time for the EBC.  Our role has now changed dramatically from one of merely advocating an EU-Japan agreement to one of actually contributing to the scoping exercise and providing essential technical input into the formal negotiations when they start.  Given our structure, function, location, experience and accrued knowledge, the EBC with its network of national chamber stakeholders, is one of the best placed organisations to do so.

EBC committees will start work immediately to identify, prioritise, and technically flesh out the key issues and compile them in an English-language digital compendium listing items, committee-by-committee.  Each item will consist of a statement of the problem (tariff, NTB, etc.) together with the technical background (relevant laws, regulations, etc. requiring revision).  The content will be made available to the European Commission negotiators on a continuous basis.

If you would like to be a part of this vital work and have your company’s problems included and forwarded to the EU negotiators, please join an EBC Committee as soon as possible. You can find out about EBC’s committees by visiting http://www.ebc-jp.com/index.php/committees/list-of-committees 
For more information about how to join an EBC committee, or if you cannot identify an appropriate committee, please contact Alison Murray, EBC Executive Director, at ebcam@gol.com   Please note that membership of a committee at this time of the year is half-price.

We encourage companies to join the EBC and help us move into the next and most critical stage of ensuring that all the barriers that are hindering European business in Japan, including yours, are addressed. This is the best opportunity we have ever had to collectively make a real difference to the business environment in Japan.