Tag Archives: EU

GBMC’s Interviews highlihting #Japanese companies presence in #Europe are online now! 

GBMC’s Interviews highlihting #Japanese companies presence in #Europe are online now! Check out:

Source: GBMC Interviews Section, Europe Japan Relations


EU-Japan EPA: Japan and EU settle trade pact, aim for 2019 start !!

EU-Japan Trade

EU-Japan Trade

Good news, at last !!!

Japan and the European Union wrapped up negotiations Friday (Decembre 8, 2017) on a far-reaching economic partnership agreement that would encompass about 40% of the value of global trade. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker affirmed the move by phone. The finalized pact, which the parties aim to sign next summer at the earliest and have take effect in 2019, would also cover about 30% of the world’s gross domestic product.”   (Nikkei Asian Review)

More info from: 



“Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono today announced the successful conclusion of the final discussions on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Building on the political agreement in principle reached during the EU-Japan Summit on 6 July 2017, negotiators from both sides have been tying up the last details in order to finish the legal text. This process is now finalised.”

(EU Commission Press Release, Decembre 8, 2017)

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Looking forward to a prosperous EU-Japan year 2018!!

The GBMC Team

EU-Japan: Making moves towards trade liberalisation!

Strategic Alliances and Partnerships in Japan

GBMC’s article published in the Septembre 2017 issue (issue 50) of “The Shipping Network Magazine”, the official magazine of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (see pages 12 and 13).

Content: Update on the status of the negotiations for the EU-Japan EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) and Analyse of the impact of populism on a future deal.

Download the magazine (PDF file) from here: ICS – Shipping Network Magazine – 50 septembre 2017


EU-Japan FTA: towards Open Markets and Stronger Economies!

EU-Japan Trade

EU-Japan Trade


EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska:

“If we can work together effectively on the basis of open markets, our economies will gain, our businesses will gain, and our consumers will gain,” insisted EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska in her speech at the EU-Japan Business Round Table in Tokyo to an audience that included Japanese Cabinet Ministers and businesspeople.

“The free trade agreement that we are negotiating will stimulate growth on both sides.

She noted that there are those who believe markets and borders should be shut, but pointed to the fact that this has not worked historically. If Japan and the EU are to move forward and grow economically, these voices of opposition must be proven wrong; and in order to do this, both entities must work closely together.”    (EUROBIZ News)


Very well. Enough negotiations: When will a deal be signed?? Meanwhile, because of  higher trade tariffs, Europeans companies are loosing ground (market shares) in Japan to US rivals and others!!

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French Tech Tokyo : a bridge to the new “Start up Republic”?

La French Tech (source maddyness)

La French Tech (source – Maddyness)

“In recent years, the French startup ecosystem has enjoyed incredible momentum, driven by a new generation of entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, designers and many other talented individuals. France has been called a new “Startup Republic”, dotted with thriving hubs and talent that are vehicles for a robust entrepreneurial mindset. 

This domestic momentum has a name – “French Tech” – and French startups are rallying around this emblematic moniker. The ecosystem is developing very quickly and there is no doubt that France has now reached a tipping point. 

This can be easily seen in Paris with its numerous innovation stakeholders, and where a strong political will acts as a driving force. The city is quite simply bubbling with activity, with over 40 business incubators, 80 coworking spaces, 20 fab labs, close from 1,500 startups being set up annually, and a growing number of success stories. Today, there is an exceptionally strong impetus in Paris and this has been acknowledged and heralded by international rankings. 

For example, it is the world’s leading city for intellectual capital and innovation (PwC Cities of Opportunity, May 2014) and it is now the leader in Europe for the vibrancy of its innovation market as regards the amount of fundraising and number of transactions. Lastly, it appears in the top six world tech cities (CB Insights, “The Next Silicon Valley”, November 2014).”    (La French Tech Tokyo Hub)

Interested in investing or joining?

More details from: http://tokyo.lafrenchtech.com




EU exit would make UK ‘less attractive’ to investors, says Japan’s PM

Shinzo Abe and David Cameron (Picture - AFP)

Shinzo Abe and David Cameron (Picture – AFP)

“The UK would be “less attractive” to Japanese investors if it votes to leave the European Union, Japan’s prime minister has said. Shinzo Abe said Japan’s business sector saw the UK as a “gateway” to Europe. Japan would rather negotiate a trade deal with the EU as a block, rather than with “individual states” in Europe. The UK will go to the polls in a referendum on its EU membership on 23 June.”  (BBC News)


UK leaving the EU would probably mean increased Japanese (and US) investments in Continental Europe in the future. Is it really what UK citizens want? What do you think about this EU Referendum in UK?


Read more from:  http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36215146


EU-Japan EPA: Why Europe needs to finalise a deal right now!!

Building a Bridge between Japan and the EU

Building a Bridge between Japan and the EU


The Executive Seminar “Building a Bridge between the Asia Pacific and the EU: The Strategic Significance of the EU-Japan FTA/EPA”, co-organised on February 10th, 2016 in Paris by JETRO and the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, was a good opportunity for stakeholders to assess the current state of the trade negotiations as well as to reflect upon the whole process.

Indeed, while it was announced in 2015 that both parties would like to speed up the process and to finalise a “deal” by the end of the year, no breakthrough has been announced so far. Apparently, from the roundtable comments, it seems that both parties have acquired a “good understanding” of each other’s positions and that some progress has been made in taking Non-Tariff Measures, but that serious negotiations are is still needed.

Meanwhile, the flexibility within the TPP agreement seems to have made possible an early deal (November 2015) for the 12 related countries. The pact concerns Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. It now awaits approval by each of the dozen members’ legislatures — a potentially contentious and lengthy process.

According to the Japan Times, ” some provisions in the 1,500-page document allow for nations to renegotiate terms and rules in some cases after a certain period of time. Such conditional arrangements helped them to conclude more than five years of intensive talks. The text also says multiple countries will relax visa requirements to let workers and their families relocate more easily. One of the provisions in the text allows nations to discuss the bringing forward of phased tariff abolition at the request of partners.

The 12 countries will also review within 3 years of entry into force (of the agreement) and at least every 5 years thereafter the economic relationship and partnership” among them and “consider any proposal to amend or modify the pact, according to the text. The Japanese government will remove tariffs on 95.1 percent of imported products, compared with the abolition of duties on nearly 100 percent of imported items by other members, as tariffs will remain for some agricultural products.”

During the Seminar’s roundtable, experts agreed on the need for Europe to speed up the negotiation process, as other trade blocks (like Japan and the US) have already concluded various trade deals worldwide: Europe is left behind in the race and could loose some bargaining power when negotiating new “deals”!!

Further, not having a “deal” right now in the Food Industry means that European exporters will loose ground against a huge amount of exporters originating from the TPP zone and will ultimately loose business as well as market shares. More concretely, Danish pork subject to 100% tariffs will have little chance to compete with US pork exempt of tariffs !!! Further, the removal of restrictions should also concern Services (representing 80% of the economy in both blocks) and not only focus on Product Market Access!

To conclude, in order to protect its interests,  the EU should move ahead fast on the base of what has already been agreed or negotiated and sign a deal with Japan very soon (in March 2016), eventually putting aside problematic sectors (like Railways business) or complex issues (like Public Procurement) where more time is needed for new NTM implementation and monitoring. Negotiations should however continue after the “deal” which would be reviewed and amended 3 years later, for example.


Philippe Huysveld



What do you think?

ANA and the A380: Airbus wins a new customer in return for invaluable Skymark support

ANA_orders (Source - ANA)

ANA_orders (Source – ANA)


“ANA is likely to become an A380 operator, with three aircraft due for delivery from 2018. Operating the A380 was not in ANA’s plans. In fact, as ANA itself has itself stated, there are many arguments against taking A380.

The aircraft order appears to be a trade-off: ANA won the last minute support of Airbus to vote for its restructuring plan of the bankrupt Skymark Airlines. There was little obvious reason for Airbus to back ANA, a tiny Airbus customer, over the alternative restructuring plan proposed by Delta, itself a major Airbus operator. It may be that in exchange for Airbus’ support ANA agreed to do more business with Airbus.”    (CAPA – Center for Aviation)


Looking forward to more A380 and other Airbus orders (and, therefore, less Boeing orders) for the Japanese Market!! What do you think?


Read more from: ANA and the A380: Airbus wins a new customer in return for invaluable Skymark support

European Countries Profile Handbook – Western Europe

Map of Europe (Wikipedia)

Map of Europe (Wikipedia)


“GBMC Publications” is delighted to announce the Release of the following publication:


“European Countries Profile Handbook – Series 1 : Western Europe”

A Handbook by R. Motoko Huysveld and Philippe Huysveld 

(approximatively 65 pages)

January 2016 

This Handbook is intended to be a quick economic overview of 45 European countries and to highlight potential business segments for your business expansion into the European Market from a pan-European perspective.

Series 1 covers the following 9 countries of Western Europe:  France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands.

For more details, please check our website at:  http://www.gbmc.biz/Countries_Handbook.html


Railways Business: Franco-Japanese team shortlisted for new UK trains!

JR East Trains (Picture - JR East)

JR East Trains (Picture – JR East)

TGV_Alstom (Picture -Alstom)

TGV_Alstom (Picture -Alstom)


“Merseytravel, an executive body that provides professional, strategic and operational transport advice to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, announced on 11 January 2016 that five bidders including a team composed of  French and Japanese companies have been shortlisted for a contract to supply around 50 EMUs (Electric Multiple Units) for the Merseyrail network.

The Franco-Japanese team is composed of Mitsui, a major Japanese trading company, J-TREC, JR East’s subsidiary rolling stock manufacturing company, and France’s Alstom.

Bids are due to be submitted by the end of April and a preferred bidder will be identified towards the end of the year. The project is likely to cost around £400m.

This joint action between French and Japanese companies is the first of its kind in the European Union, and concrete business results are expected.”  (Source: JR East Newsletter #19)


More details about the bid at: Railways Business: Franco-Japanese team shortlisted for new UK trains!


Looking forward to more Europe-Japan collaborative projects on both sides!

This is probably the right approach to promoting the completion of an EU-Japan EPA!

What do you think?


About J-TREC:

“Japan Transport Engineering Company is a total transport engineering firm manufacturing rolling stock, cargo containers, railway tracks and turnouts with its 100% of stocks owned by East Japan Railway Company. Rail transport nowadays has become a part of modern social infrastructure and the pursuit of safety, assurance and comfort are at the core of our manufacturing philosophy.  Along the pursuit, our belief in manufacturing is to pay attention to every detail, even to those that are not visible at a glance.
The forerunner of our company is Tokyu Car Corporation which has realized the first domestic production of stainless steel rail cars in Japan. We will succeed all the technology and know-how that were acquired during its 63 years of history and leap into the next level by challenging the world market.”

(more details at: http://www.j-trec.co.jp/eng/company/index.html)


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