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The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan Applauds the Entry into Force of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

Encourages progress towards the Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement

Tokyo, Jan 13, 2015 - (ACN Newswire) - The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ) today congratulates the governments of Canada and South Korea on the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA), which came into force on January 1, 2015. The CKFTA constitutes Canada's first free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region.

Canadian businesses and workers now have greater access to the world's 15th-largest economy, with a GDP of $1.1 trillion - the fourth-largest in Asia - and a market of 50 million potential consumers. The CKFTA provides South Korea with preferential access to Canada - the world's 11th-largest economy, with a GDP of $1.9 trillion - and unprecedented access to the North American market, following the 2012 implementation of South Korea's FTA with the United States. The benefits to South Korea include the progressive elimination of tariffs on Korean vehicles imported into Canada. Once fully implemented, the CKFTA will eliminate over 99% of tariffs on bilateral trade across all sectors, including on industrial, agriculture and forestry products.

The coming into force of the CKFTA underlines the urgency of successfully concluding a trade agreement between Canada and Japan. Both the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) offer the opportunity for Canada and Japan to benefit from enhanced mutual access to their markets under conditions of a level playing field with other Asian countries, including Korea.

Canada and Japan stand to gain from strengthened trade opportunities across a broad range of products, including in the agricultural, forestry, fishery and industrial sectors. For Japan, Canada plays a pivotal role in its export of automobiles and parts to the North American market. As Japan faces the challenge of formulating its energy mix for the future, Canada plays an even greater role as a stable and reliable supplier of energy resources, including LNG. With both the EPA and TPP initiatives being pursued in parallel, this provides a golden opportunity to transform a strong economic relationship into one even more durable and mutually beneficial.

Since its launch on March 25, 2012 by Prime Minister Harper and then Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, the two governments have held seven rounds of EPA negotiations, with the last held in mid-November 2014 in Tokyo. The CCCJ - with a membership representing both Japanese and Canadian corporate interests, and a mandate to promote business between our two countries - urges both Canada and Japan to continue working together not only to conclude the TPP as soon as possible, but also to move quickly to conclude the bilateral EPA.

CCCJ Chairman Wilf Wakely said, "Our Chamber has for some years been engaged in encouraging a Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. We see the TPP and the EPA as mutually supportive. Indeed, it is the Chamber's view that in addition to reducing key barriers to exports and investment between the two countries, an advanced EPA would give both countries greater bargaining power in TPP discussions, and would allow to address areas of bilateral interests more effectively."

In November 2014, the CCCJ, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry brought together Japanese and Canadian companies for a series of panel discussions on resources, agricultural, manufacturing, and the services sectors. It was clear that businesses on both sides of the Pacific want to see the EPA signed, and the CCCJ joins the Canadian and Japanese business organizations concerned in calling on the two governments to exercise their political will to realize it.

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ)

Promoting the development of commerce between Canada and Japan since 1975, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ) is a private sector, not-for-profit business organization serving its members through communications, networking, and advocacy. Representing some 33 business sectors, the CCCJ is a member-driven, member-focused organization and is the longest serving Canadian Chamber in Asia, with over three hundred members.

CCCJ members represent a broad cross-section of businesspersons and entrepreneurs from Canada, Japan, and other countries. They include Canadian companies operating in Japan, Japanese companies and individuals with ties to Canada, small business owners, and Canadians working in Japan.

The Chamber carries out its mandate in a variety of ways, including:

- Holding speaker luncheons, seminars, and networking events.

- Providing relevant and timely information through our website, bi-lateral business news, quarterly magazine The Canadian, and annual membership directory Connections.

- Offering business promotion opportunities and information on how to set up an office in Japan.

- Meeting with key Japanese policymakers on issues of importance to the Canadian business community in Japan.

- Maintaining close ties with other foreign and domestic chambers of commerce in Japan and other Canadian chambers/business associations in Asia to broaden and deepen our information network.

Contact us to find out more about how the Chamber can help you. www.cccj.or.jp.

Media contact:

Andrew Lambert

Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan

Tel: +81-3-5775-9500

Source: The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan

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Publication:ACN Newswire
Geographic Code:90ASI
Date:Jan 13, 2015
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