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Japan | Brussels, 29 May 2015

EU Commissioner Malmström on Japan trade deal: "Have to be ambitious on substance as well as timing"

This morning, EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström held a speech at Keidanren, Japan’s main industry federation, in Tokyo. Malmström is in Japan this week for the EU-Japan Summit, and to meet several ministers to discuss the negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and Japan.

An agreement has been under negotiation since 2013. In her speech at Keidanren, Malmström raised the issue of when the deal could be concluded.

"We believe that if this deal is worth doing, it's worth doing right. We have to be ambitious on the substance as well as on the timing. We need an agreement that works. An agreement that helps us put our economies on the path to prosperity."

Malmström also spoke about public procurement, and the agreement reached on non-discriminatory and transparent access to procurement done by Japan's major railway operators:

"That deal will allow European companies to compete better for business in Japan. It will also allow Japan's train operators have access to excellent technologies at the best prices. And that means the passengers will ultimately be the winners. This is exactly the kind of benefit that will come from showing similar ambition all across public tenders, whether at the level of cities or central government. Open public procurement markets are of benefit for all."

During Wednesday and Thursday of this week, Commissioner Malmström met, among others, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yoichi Miyazawa, and other Ministers responsible for policy areas being discussed in the negotiations for a free trade agreement. Later today, she attends the Summit meeting in Tokyo, along with Presidents Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk and High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini.

The full speech 

Photos and a video from the speech at Keidanren.

More on this visit to Japan