Tag Archives: EU

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

GBMC

 

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)

 


TPP Agreement: a Flexible Solution for a Free Trade deal?

TPP (image source: cas.go.jp)

TPP (image source: cas.go.jp)

 

” The pact, agreed a month ago, comprises Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

The deal now awaits approval by each of the dozen members’ legislatures — a potentially contentious and lengthy process.

The U.S. government began its process on Thursday, with President Barack Obama notifying lawmakers of his plan to sign the U.S.-led initiative.

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 last month.

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.”   (The Japan Times)

 

The flexibility within the TPP agreement seems to have made possible an early deal for the 12 related countries. Maybe there is here some matter for thoughts for the EU-Japan FTA/EPA agreement under negotiation? What do you think? 

 

Read more from:   TPP Agreement: a Flexible Solution for a Free Trade deal?

 


Je suis PARIS !!

Je suis Paris (Source - BILD.de)

Je suis Paris (Source – BILD.de)

 

With all our condolences and support to the families of the victims!

GBMC (Paris)


Nikkei/FT: towards a EU-Japan FNA (Free News Agreement) ?

Nikkei/FT: towards a EU-Japan FNA (Free News Agreement) ?

Nikkei/FT: towards a EU-Japan FNA (Free News Agreement) ?

“Thursday’s surprise announcement by Nikkei Inc. that it’s buying the London-based FT Group, one of the world’s most respected and influential media groups, immediately raised questions about whether the Japanese company can successfully manage such a highly regarded news company. The Nikkei group, Japan’s most powerful financial media group, said it will buy the Financial Times publisher from Pearson PLC for about ¥160 billion ($1.3 billion) by procuring all outstanding stocks.” (Japan Times)

Yes, independance of the Press and, in particular, of the FT Editorial Team is a key concern.

However, on the bright side, in the context of the EU-Japan FTA negotiations, we hope that this high profile acquisition will enhance collaboration in the EU-Japan news/media sector and boost sharing of Industrial and Financial News/Information on both sides (EU and Japan).  Business News sharing would definitely  support Free Trade!!

The GBMC team

Read more from:

Nikkei/FT: towards a EU-Japan FNA (Free News Agreement) ?

 


ATC: Update on the “Single European Sky” (SES) Project

Vue_de_Montmartre (Stéphanie De Nadaï)

Vue_de_Montmartre (Stéphanie De Nadaï)

 

The SES project has featured major changes over the last year. Perspectives from major players around the industry provide an in-depth look at this herculean effort to bring the technologically progressed air transportation system that the Eurozone needs to manage the existing and projected growth in air travel.” (Avionics Magazine)

Find more details from:

http://avionicsmag.com/portal/wts/ugmcmsbsv%5Embb7DCec%5EOvADcjOE%3BqQa

 


Investment Opportunities in Belgium for Japanese companies

Belgium (source: Wikimedia commons)

Belgium (source: Wikimedia commons)

Japan

Japan

 

Tokyo – On May 12, addressing and presiding over the Seminar on investment opportunities in Belgium, Prime Minister Charles Michel and Deputy Prime Minister Kris Peeters, highlighted the recent measures taken by the Federal Government of Belgium to support the business and investment climate and strengthen Belgium’s attractiveness as a gateway to Europe.

One of the key notes at the seminar was the presentation of BELGIUM AND ITS NEIGHBOURS’ BUSINESS CLIMATES COMPARED 2015 edition, a comparison of business climates in Belgium and other European countries, which was delivered by Mr Masatomo Nomura, Chair of the BJA Investment Committee.

This study of studies looks at the four areas:

As the pages on global attractiveness show, there is a rather big gap between the perception of Belgium and reality. In other words, the recognition of ‘Belgium’ as a brand is low, but in reality the Belgian economy is highly globalised and investors discover pleasant surprises afterwards.

The pages on headquarters and holding companies show that Brussels is one of the leading cities in Europe for business. Not only because of its central location in Europe, but also because of its internationally open business culture and the ease of doing business, reasonable level of office rent and an investor-friendly tax regime, Belgium is a highly regarded location.

When it comes to logistics, Belgium ranks number 1 in Europe because of the strong combination of excellent infrastructure, accessibility and superb cost efficiency for distribution.

Concerning research and development, Belgium is in the top five countries in the world for the quality of scientific research institutions. The quality of mathematics and science education is among the top 3 in the world. University-industry collaboration is very active, which shows potential to bring the results of research to the market.

 

Download the report from our Blog: Belgium and its neighbours business climates compared 2015 (BJA) 

More details from the BJA at:  BJA News Flash – 2015 BJA Investment Publication

 


Back to the future? Belgian Beer made from bread!

 

Babylone Beer

Babylone Beer

 

A small Brussels-based brewery has embarked on a project to make beer from leftover bread, harking back to antiquity, when bread was the main ingredient, rather than barley. This is “Belgian Tech”!

Read more from:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/04/19/world/babylonian-brew-belgian-makes-beer-bread/?utm_source=digg#.VTQwqOnGPIV

 


%d bloggers like this: