Minister Reynders on starting trade talks with Japan

date: 29 November 2012

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders welcomes the decision of the Council of the European Union to begin trade talks with Japan. Studies estimate the return of a free trade agreement with Japan to be worth 0.8% of the GDP of the EU, which could create 400,000 jobs. This decision also demonstrates the European Union’s commitment to Asia.
The mandate approved today serves as a foundation for balancing and strengthening trade relations between the EU and Japan.
Belgium intends to seize this opportunity, particularly in the pharmaceutical, chemical and foodstuffs sectors, as well as in transport materials, medical equipment and in services. Many sectors of Belgian industry back this decision.
Belgium nevertheless remains sensitive to the importance of the European car industry, and will remain particularly attentive to the observance of regulations laid down in this sector.