5th BRT Annual Meeting, Brussels, 27 & 28 May 2003:
"TOWARDS NEW CHALLENGES FOR SUSTAINING GROWTH AND COMPETITIVENESS - INVESTMENTS AND ENLARGEMENT"
The EU-Japan Business Round Table took place on 27 and 28 May 2003 in Brussels, under the co-chairmanship of Messrs. Étienne Davignon and Yotaro Kobayashi.
The meeting began with the Joint Session with the EU and Japanese Authorities, including speeches by Tetsuro Yano (Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Kouya Nishikawa (Parliamentary Secretary for METI) and European Commissioner Erkki Liikanen (Member for Enterprise and Information Society) on the "Fostering of Japan-EU strategic partnership and implementation of the 10-Year Action Plan and role of the private sector" and on "Information Society, Enterprise Policy, Foreign Investment & Trade". Vice-Minister Shinichi Nabekura (Japanese Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts & Telecommunications) then spoke on "Broadband Deployment and Policy in Japan" and Pedro de Sampaio Nunes (Director, DG Information Society) also spoke. Nicolas Théry (Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Lamy, European Commission) addressed "FDI in Japan and Enlargement of the EU".
The Joint Session was followed by the Working Party session, discussions about "Life Sciences", "Corporate Social Responsibility" and then a discussion of the BRT's 2003 set of recommendations to the EU and Japanese Authorities. The first day concluded with a drinks’ reception and dinner. The second day began with discussions on "Sustainable Development (and Environment)", the "Economic situation in Japan", the "Importance of the Asian economy" and on the "European economic situation and consequences of the euro". It concluded with the formal adoption of the BRT's recommendations and a post-event press conference.
|A short highlights video (© European Community, 2003) from the Joint Session with the Authorities can be found here.|
The meeting concluded with a change in Chairman on the EU-side with Georges Jacobs succeeding Étienne Davignon who retired from the BRT. After the meeting, Messrs Kobayashi, Davignon and Jacobs held a press conference.
The Joint Session was followed by the Working Party session, discussions about "Life Sciences" and "Corporate Social Responsibility" and then a discussion of the BRT's 2003 set of recommendations to the EU and Japanese Authorities. The first day concluded with a drinks reception and dinner.
The second day began with discussions on "Sustainable Development (and Environment)", the "Economic situation in Japan", the "Importance of the Asian economy" and on the "European economic situation and consequences of the euro". It concluded with the formal adoption of the BRT's recommendations and a post-event press conference.
28/05/2003 - Etienne Davignon and Yotaro Kobayashi wrote to PM Koizumi of Japan, PM Simitis of Greece (for the EU Council Presidency) and to European Commission President Prodi to submit the BRT's 2003 Recommendations. The 2003 EU-Japan Summit meeting preceded the BRT annual meeting, taking place on 01 & 02 May in Greece. But in a statement on Japan-EU Initiatives on Investment that accompanied the formal Summit Joint Press Statement, the Leaders of the EU and Japan mentioned the BRT:
Japan-EU Initiatives on Investment
Recalling that one of the key aims of the Action Plan is to realise the full potential of two-way flows of direct investment, the EU and Japan will work together, drawing also on input from the EU-Japan Business Dialogue Round Table, to take effective steps in this direction in the coming year.
Welcoming PM Koizumi's call to double the stock of foreign direct investment in Japan over the next five years, the EU will do its utmost to inform its companies about the attractiveness of the Japanese market and its advantages as an investment location, in liaison with the relevant Member State and Japanese organisations and using instruments at its disposal like the Executive Training Programme and Gateway to Japan Programme.
Japan and the EU will take additional steps to raise awareness of their respective markets through EU-Japan cooperation initiatives on cross investment; these will include publicity events, focused promotional activities and the initiation of contacts in Japan and the EU between investment promotion bodies. Japan and the EU will organise seminars and conferences to inform the private sector in particular about additional investment opportunities in Japan and in the enlarged Union. The two sides will also consider how the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation could play an enhanced role in promoting investment-related contacts between EU and Japanese businesses. They will also continue to use the high level Regulatory Reform Dialogue to address issues affecting the local investment and business environment in Japan and the EU.
Japan, in parallel, is also taking important initiatives domestically, for instance strengthening the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) other site so that it can provide a one-stop-shop service to interested foreign investors, and implementing the five-pillar programmes to promote investment to Japan which were decided by the Japan Investment Council, for example by creating a single point of contact in each ministry related to investment, and promoting deregulation initiatives of various kinds, including in the Special Zones for Structural Reform.
In implementing these measures, Japan and the EU encourage the close involvement of the private sector, in particular the EU-Japan Business Dialogue Round Table.
Photographs from the 2003 BRT annual meeting can be found at the bottom of this page. Click on an image to see an enlarged version.