INTERVIEW #1: JBCE (Japan Business Council in Europe)
“EU is still one of the biggest markets with a population of 500 million people. Moreover, Japanese companies need to realize EU’s power to set the global rules and standards. EU’s regulatory standardisation efforts often set the standard worldwide. That is the reason why multinational companies of Japanese parentage should be more committed to EU policy development in order to support and facilitate the conduct of Japanese business operations around the globe.”
GBMC Interview (2015) with:
Mr Yukihiro Kawaguchi, Secretary General, JBCE, Brussels, Belgium.
JBCE (Japan Business Council in Europe), www.jbce.org.
Interview conducted by E. Motoko Inuyi & Philippe Huysveld and written by E. Motoko Inuyi.
During the interview, Mr Kawaguchi mentioned the common challenges between Japan and EU such as energy and resource efficiency. To solve these challenges, cooperation between EU and Japanese companies in the stage of research and development is key.
The association is encouraging its members to participate in EU’s innovation programme Horizon 2020, the world’s biggest public funding programme for multinational research, development and innovation, in partnership with the EU-Japan Centre.
According to him, “EU is still one of the biggest markets with a population of 500 million people. Moreover, Japanese companies need to realize EU’s power to set the global rules and standards. EU’s regulatory standardisation efforts often set the standard worldwide. That is the reason why multinational companies of Japanese parentage should be more committed to EU policy development in order to support and facilitate the conduct of Japanese business operations around the globe.”
Statistics provided by the association points out the following facts:
· In 2012, Japan was the major investor in the EU. EU inward FDI stock reached a value of €200.3 Billion.
· In 2011, Japanese companies created more than 437,000 jobs in the EU.
· In 2012, EU was Japan’s 3rd trade partner, while Japan was EU’s 7th trade partner. EU 27 Exports to Japan was €55.5 Billion (3.6% of total EU exports).
The conclusion of a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) or Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is a long aspiration for this association. FTA/EPA can be a trigger to the further communication and collaboration between European and Japanese industries. The Association holds seminars and conferences to promote these objectives.
Referring to JBCE’s interview with EU ex-Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potocnik, Mr Kawaguchi states:
“In this interview he recognises Japan as one of the key international partners with whom EU would like to intensify cooperation on resource efficiency. As a general rule, it is preferable that global solutions are found at a global level. EU and Japan should play a leading role in achieving it and at the same time I believe EU and Japan should work more closely together on resource efficiency by turning environmental challenges into opportunities for European and Japanese business and policy makers.
I believe Japan can contribute significantly to the realisation of the Europe 2020 Strategy for sustainable, smart and inclusive growth. It is commonly known that the EU and Japan do not only share common values in democracy and the rule of law, but also common challenges like energy supply and aging population. Thus, the conclusion of an Economic Integration Agreement (EIA) between the EU and Japan could actively contribute to the necessary economic growth of both economies”
About JBCE (Japan Business Council in Europe)
Established in 1999, it is a European organization representing the interest of around 70 Multinational Japanese Companies operating in EU. It has contributed to the EU public policy by sharing members’ expertise with decision-makers across sectors and has played a role as a bridge between the EU and Japan. The President of the association is Mr. Paul Molyneux, who is also the President of Sharp Electronics (Europe) Ltd.
Its members cover a wide range of industry sectors including information and communication technologies, electronics, chemicals, automotive, machinery, wholesale trade, precision instruments, pharmaceutical, railway, textiles and glass products.
JBCE’s priorities are as follows:
1. Promote open trade and investment
2. Encourage a common regulatory framework.
3. Foster responsible business conduct.