CORRECTED: LEAD: Japan-Mexico FTA takes effect, 2nd such pact for Japan.
TOKYO, April 1 Kyodo
A free trade agreement between Japan and Mexico took effect Friday as Japan's second FTA, following one inked with Singapore in 2002.
The pact, Japan's first comprehensive FTA covering the politically sensitive agricultural sector, is the first for Mexico with an Asian country Noun 1. Asian country - any one of the nations occupying the Asian continent
country, land, state - the territory occupied by a nation; "he returned to the land of his birth"; "he visited several European countries" .
Mexico, which has signed FTAs with 42 other trade partners, aims to boost its farm exports to Japan, projecting that such exports will double to $1 billion in 2005.
With the pact in place, Japan and Mexico held the first meeting of a joint panel in Tokyo Friday to discuss how to operate the FTA.
Mexican Economy Secretary Fernando Canales Clariond Fernando de Jesús Canales Clariond (b. July 21, 1946 in Monterrey) is a Mexican politician and businessman affiliated to the National Action Party (PAN). He succeeded his cousin, Benjamín Clariond as governor of Nuevo León in 1997. , Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Shoichi Nakagawa Third Realigned Junichiro Koizumi>Koizumi Cabinet
Secretary Shinzo Abe
Internal Affairs Heizo Takenaka
Justice Seiken Sugiura
Foreign Affairs Taro Aso
Finance Sadakazu Tanigaki
Education Kenji Kosaka
Health Jiro Kawasaki and three other Japanese ministers took part in the meeting.
In a joint press statement issued after the meeting, the two sides said the trade pact ''will enable both countries to make the most of their economic complementarity and further promote the development of their respective economies.''
Canales said at a press conference that Mexico's exports to Japan will increase 20 percent in 2005 and will have an average annual rise of 10 percent in the long term.
''The FTA is a big chance for Mexico. The two countries' economies are complementary and I am sure bilateral relations will be further promoted,'' Canales said.
In 2004, Japan's imports from Mexico totaled 326.3 billion yen and exports to the country totaled 561.4 billion yen, according to METI METI Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Japan; formerly MITI)
METI Medical Education Technologies, Inc. .
Twenty chambers of commerce across Japan began issuing certificates of origin for exports to Mexico on Friday, so that the products can receive preferential tariff treatment under the FTA.
The pact was signed in Mexico on Sept. 17 last year by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Mexican President Vicente Fox.
Foreign Ministry Press Secretary Hatsuhisa Takashima said earlier this week that Japan expects to boost its trade with Mexico, United States, Canada and other countries with which Mexico has free trade pacts.
Japan has been holding talks to seal FTAs with Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand. Japan reached a basic FTA deal with the Philippines last November.
It will start formal FTA talks with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), organization established by the Bangkok Declaration (1967), linking the nations of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. on April 13-15.