Publicat pe 24/10/2018

Bucharest, October 24th, 2018: The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania (CCIR) organized on Wednesday, October 24th, in partnership with the Representation of the European Commission in Romania and the Embassy of Japan in Romania, the conference on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and the impact on the bilateral cooperation between Romania and Japan.

The event aims to increase the understanding of the implications of the Economic Partnership Agreement in Romania through an open dialogue with the business environment. At the same time, the broad benefits of this agreement in terms of trade and European investment will be discussed.

The President of the CCIR, Mr. Mihai Daraban, underlined the importance of bilateral trade relations between Romania and Japan. “Japan’s economy is an example not only for Romania but also for the rest of the countries of the European Union. We have to point out that Japan is the third largest economy in the world with a Gross Domestic Product of $ 4.872 billion, much over the developed economies in the EU. Romania may be a hub for trade between Japan and the EU because such an exchange will always have a maritime component. Any cargo leaving or coming from Japan will have to pass through the Suez Canal. From the Suez Canal to the port of Constanta there are only 3-4 days of navigation, while up to the port of Rotterdam there are 11 days and we all know that time is money. Thus, it is imperative to promote Romania as a trade hub between Japan and the EU”, said Mr. Mihai Daraban.

“This agreement will change the world in a way because it should not be regarded as a commercial one but also as a strategic alliance between the EU and Japan. We have a lot in common with Japan, such as democracy, the rule of law and international cooperation. This agreement will eliminate most of the customs duties that EU companies exporting to Japan pay annually in the amount of 1 billion euros. It will also represent an opening for the Japanese market, which includes 127 million consumers, for essential agricultural exports from the EU, which will also increase export opportunities in other sectors, “said Angela Cristea, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Romania.

Prof. Dr. Motoshige Itoh, of Gakushuin University in Tokyo, highlighted the importance of trade between the EU and Japan: “The European Union has a population of 500 million, which represents a 24% contribution to the World Gross Domestic Product. The EU is a very important partner in Japan, accounting for 10% of total trade. This agreement will in the future strengthen bilateral strategic relations between Japan and the EU and will lead to substantial economic growth and the emergence of new jobs. For Romania, the expansion of Japanese companies’ commercial activities will mean the transition to a higher level of trade between the two states.”

“The trade agreement between Japan and the European Union will actually come into force in the spring of next year. This will be the largest bilateral trade agreement so far. In addition, the agreement also has a political value because it sends a common message against protectionism. The deal will increase the level of exports to Japan and the EU. The same will obviously happen in the case of Romania, especially in terms of the export volume of the wood industry as well as that of the textile industry”, said Yasuo Yamamoto, head of the Mizuho Research Institute Ltd in London.

The event was also attended by Takahiko Watabe, Business Embassy of the Japanese Embassy in Romania, Sorin Valeriu Naş, Secretary of State – Ministry for the Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship, Radu Şerban, former Ambassador of Romania to Japan, Ms. Viorel Isticioaia-Budura, Honorary Ambassador for the Asian Zone, Ms. Victoria Câmpeanu, PhD – University of Bucharest. On behalf of CCIR, Mr. Virgil Goagă, Director of Foreign Relations.

Background

According to the information provided by the ONRC, in July 2018, Japan is ranked 24th among the top 50 by country of residence of investors with foreign participation in the share capital. There are currently 362 companies with Japanese capital, with 239.7 million Euro subscribed Japanese capital. The total Japanese direct investment in Romania is 315 million euros.