The 22nd annual meeting of the EU-Japan Business Round Table (BRT) on 5 November, led by Mr. Philippe Wahl of Le Groupe La Poste for the EU side and Mr. Masaki Sakuyama of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation for the Japan side, saw in-depth exchanges between business leaders on the impact and implementation of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and how it has weathered the covid storm; on the importance of rules-based free and open trade; on the need for data free flow with trust and human-centric safeguards, if the full potential of 5G is to be realised; on new opportunities to be created by regulatory cooperation, standards convergence, the green transition, digital transformation, business cooperation in third markets, e.g. Asia and Africa; and on how to reorient the work and functioning of the BRT.
METI Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama, Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, MOFA State Minister Eiichiro Washio and MIC Vice Minister Mabito Yoshida and other representatives of the Authorities had an exchange of views with the BRT on the functioning of the EPA, digitalisation, data flows and regulatory frameworks, covid-19, green issues and on business collaborations in third countries. The BRT’s 2020 Recommendations were formally handed over by Chairman Sakuyama to METI Minister Kajiyama.
There was unanimous support for the need to strengthen EU-Japan cooperation building on the promising initial results to the EPA and SPA, to underpin our economic recovery, provide leadership in the setting of standards and to emphasise the importance of multilateral and free and open trade. Given this virtuous circle, it is essential that the BRT reviews its activities, make-up and methods so that it is able to support and help shape public policy leading to new possibilities for EU-Japan cooperation at home and in third countries.