German chems body urges EU to begin free trade talks with Japan

28 November 2012 15:57  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The EU should begin talks with Japan about a free trade agreement as soon as possible, German chemical producers association Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) said on Wednesday.

Europe’s chemical producers could derive substantial benefits from an elimination of tariffs and from common standards in their trade with Japan, said Utz Tillmann, general manager of the Frankfurt-based association.

Europe must set a strong signal in support of more international cooperation, and against protectionism,” Tillmann said.

An EU-Japan free trade deal could trigger impulses for economic growth, which is currently sorely needed on both sides, he added.

Tillmann, who was speaking ahead of an EU-Japan trade meeting due later this week, said that the EU should focus the talks not only on eliminating tariffs, but also on non-tariff trade barriers such as different regulations and standards.

Japan is due to begin free trade negotiations with Canada this week.

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) and Japan Chemical Industry Association (JCIA) said in a joint statement that they want the talks to focus on the elimination of chemical tariffs, and simplified regulatory processes and rules of origin.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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