Release of Report of the Joint Study on the Possibility of a Japan-Canada Economic Partnership Agreement

March 7, 2012

  1. Prime Ministers of Japan and Canada concurred to positively consider the promotion of an economic partnership between the two countries at the Summit Meeting in November 2010. Based on this development, the two governments started the Joint Study on the Possibility of a Japan-Canada Economic Partnership Agreement.

  2. Government officials from both countries discussed the basic elements to be included in a possible EPA between Japan and Canada and heard views from the private sector in each country at four Joint Study meetings held in March, April, and July 2011 and January 2012.

  3. The Report is the result of the Joint Study carried out through these meetings. The gist of the Report is as follows.

    (1) Japan and Canada have long been important political and economic partners, and have enjoyed complimentary economic relations. The Joint Study found that there remains much untapped potential in the relationship.

    (2) As a result of an analysis of 15 economic areas including market access, trade in services, and investment, it became clear that a possible EPA would bring significant benefits to both countries.
    Market Access:
    A high-level EPA would deliver substantial benefit and provide meaningful market access improvement to both countries through the liberalization of trade in goods. Both countries should take note of their respective sensitivities.

    Trade in Services:
    Both Japan and Canada possess sophisticated and competitive service sectors. There is scope to further promote bilateral trade in services in a mutually beneficial manner.

    Ample scope remains for further expanding bilateral cross-border investment.
    (3)  Both countries recognized that energy security and food security remain a priority issue globally. They also shared the recognition that a possible EPA should give particular attention to their commercial relationship in these areas. It could contribute to consolidating the current stable supply and demand of energy, minerals and foods for the respective countries.

    (4) The conclusion of the Report states that the participants of the Joint Study found sufficient common ground to launch the negotiation of a comprehensive and high-level EPA leading to additional trade flows and economic gains for both Canada and Japan. Such an EPA would be an important step toward the realization of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).
    • (*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)

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