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Symposium: "Regional economic integration of Japan and Asia" (Köln, 09.02.2017)

Organized by JKI Köln in cooperation with the Institute of East Asian Studies of the University of Duisburg-Essen; supported by DJW

The economic role of Japan in the Asia-Pacific region is of particular interest and relevance, but rather little known in the West, particularly when the implications for European or German business are considered. Japan has fostered economic integration within East as well as with Southeast Asia, and beyond in the wider Asia-Pacific region. This has led to dense economic and business linkages in the area, also involving deep production networks along the supply-chain. 

Japan has concluded several bilateral partnerships such as Free Trade Agreements (FTA) or Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), particularly with countries in Southeast Asia and in the Pan-Pacific region.  There are FTAs/EPAs with 15 countries and regions, mainly in Asia. FTAs/EPAs now cover 22.3% of the total value of Japan´s trade. Japanese enterprises actively proceed to develop further trade linkages and investment projects. It can be said that Japan contributes quite significantly to the economic development of the Asia-Pacific area through fostering economic integration. 

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), of which Japan is a founding member, could bring the share of FTA/EPA-covered trade of Japan to about 40%, which would deepen Japan’s integration within the Asia-Pacific region even further. While TPP negotiations were successfully concluded in early 2016, the recent US presidential elections have led to doubts about its ratification. Still, other mechanisms to foster free trade in the Asia-Pacific area might fill such a void. 

It seems clear but deserves much more attention that such developments can have substantial implications for Europe´s trade and business in the Asia-Pacific area. The expected conclusion of a EU-Japan EPA in the near future and further arrangements with other countries in Asia-Pacific will bring a new dynamism to Europe-Japan and Europe-Asia-Pacific trade and investment relations.

Which developments are already visible and what can be expected?

How can enterprises react to the changing circumstances, make use of the new options and plan for the future?

In the symposium, four experts from economics and business will share their insights on these questions through their lectures, followed by a panel discussion, in which selected issues will be explored further. 

Please find further details as well as the program in the document below. A registration is not necessary.

Date: February 9th, 2017 (Thursday)
Venue: Japanese Cultural Institute, Universitätsstraße 98, 50674 Köln
Time: 2 - 5:30 p.m.