Let me first give you four reasons why economic partnership agreements (EPAs), which cover broader areas than free trade agreements (FTAs), are important. The first reason is that FTAs are now a world "rule of the game," and Japan is at a disadvantage in not taking part in the game.
Amid the advance of economic globalization, it is important to maintain and strengthen the free trade system. While the World Trade Organization continues to play an important role in this effort, free trade agreements (FTAs) offer a means of strengthening partnerships in areas not covered by the WTO and achieving liberalization beyond levels attainable under the WTO.
Correctly tweaked, the numbers make perfect sense - free trade agreements (FTAs) between Japan and South-east Asian countries could provide a much-needed fillip to the moribund Japanese economy, and will in turn give a boost to a region in which Japan is already the biggest investor.
Promoting Economic Partnership Agreements with closely related
countries and regions
Free trade agreements are now becoming the rule in world trade and Japan is at a big disadvantage if it does not take part in the game.
In contrast to the recent push for adopting a free trade agreement (FTA) with Chile, leading business organizations, including the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) and Korea Federation of Small Business (KFSB), take a cautious approach to back ongoing FTA talks with Japan.
In July 2002, Japan and Korea established a Joint Study Group,
composed of representatives from the government, business and academia of
both countries, to appraise the possibility of establishing the Japan-Korea Free
Trade Agreement (JKFTA).
The government has decided to expand the scope of its free trade agreement negotiations with several Asian countries, including South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia, aiming to conclude comprehensive economic partnership agreements (EPAs), government officials said Wednesday.
The Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) on Friday proposed that the government take a cautious approach to the ongoing Korea-Japan free trade agreement (FTA) talks, demanding a delay of in the schedule for cutting tariffs on Japanese imports.
On March 12 Japan and Mexico reached virtual accord on the conclusion of a bilateral free-trade agreement following 16 months of negotiations.
Between 20th and 24th December, representatives from the two countries will meet in Tokyo and finalise the text of the BIT that has been under much criticism from peoples’ movements of both Korea and Japan.
Japan and Mexico have reached a basic accord on free trade. Japan promises to increase imports of pork, oranges and other agricultural products from Mexico, while that country says it will import more steel, automobiles and other industrial products from Japan.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Tuesday ordered his Cabinet ministers to work together to accelerate free-trade negotiations with other Asian nations.
Japan will hold free-trade talks early next year with Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Thursday.
The 5th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Cancun, Mexico, ended without consensus, clouding the prospects for the ongoing negotiations over the Doha Development Agenda.
During his visit to five ASEAN countries including Malaysia in January 2002, the Prime Minister of Japan, H.E. Mr. Junichiro Koizumi, proposed the “Initiative for Japan-ASEAN Comprehensive Economic Partnership”, to which the then Prime Minister of Malaysia, H.E. Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad gave his full support.
During his official visit to Japan in November 2001, the Thai Prime Minister, H.E. Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra, proposed to Japanese Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. Junichiro Koizumi, that Thailand and Japan should explore together the possibility of establishing a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
JAPAN-PHILIPPINE ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT JOINT COORDINATING TEAM REPORT
The Chicago Conference on the Global Economy
’The Future of the Global Trading System’