JOINT STATEMENT AT THE SIGNING OF THE AGREEMENT
ON FREE TRADE AND ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP
BETWEEN JAPAN AND THE SWISS CONFEDERATION
- The Free Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (FTEPA) that Japan and Switzerland have signed today represents a landmark in the relations between our countries.
- The Agreement provides inter alia for improved mutual market access for goods and services, enhanced conditions for investment activities, effective protection of intellectual property rights, promotion of electronic commerce, cooperation in the field of competition policy and overall improved framework conditions and increased legal security for our economic relations.
- We affirm our willingness to build on the Agreement to further enhance our cooperation in all fields covered therein, and to further develop the Agreement itself, by improving its provisions wherever possible or necessary and by extending it to new areas as needs may arise in the future.
- We are convinced that the Agreement will foster existing and new business opportunities for the private sectors of the two countries, including trade and investment opportunities, enhance their competitiveness, and encourage closer partnership between them.
- In addition to the mechanism provided for in the Chapter on Promotion of a Closer Economic Relationship, we also express the willingness of our governments to encourage discussion by private sectors of both countries at the Sub-Committee, concerning cooperation between them on their business activities including in third countries, findings of which will be reported to the bilateral economic consultations.
- (a) We recognise the growing use in the world of anti-dumping measures, and consider that such measures, if abused, can obstruct trade and afford unfair protection to domestic industries.
(b) In recognition of the potential for abuse of anti-dumping measures, we are determined that, in the context of the Agreement, our governments should not use such measures for protectionist purposes. We affirm furthermore that, after receipt of a properly documented application and before proceeding to initiate an investigation under the Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994, a government should notify the other government as soon as possible, providing relevant information, so that the latter government could express its views on the matter. The former government should give due consideration to the views expressed by the latter government and should consider the possibility of discussions, if requested. We are determined that, in the context of the Agreement, each government should only use anti-dumping measures to the extent really necessary to address the effects of the dumping on the economy.
(c) We stress our conviction that anti-dumping measures need to be taken on the basis of robust and clear rules to ensure not only transparency in anti-dumping procedures, but also fairness and consistency in the application of anti-dumping measures. To this end, we affirm the necessity for our governments to continue and strengthen the cooperation between them, particularly in the framework of the WTO, to clarify, improve and strengthen rules governing anti-dumping measures.
- We affirm our desire to strengthen our cooperation in the field of technical regulations, standards and conformity assessments, in order to avoid unnecessary obstacles to trade in goods. When appropriate, this may be achieved through sector-specific arrangements.
- We express our willingness to reinvigorate the existing bilateral economic consultations to address broader issues of economic interest to both countries, which will in principle be held back to back with the meetings of the Joint Committee under the Agreement.
- We affirm our desire to enhance Japan-Swiss cooperation in international fora, as well as in their economic relations with third countries, in responding to such challenges as protectionist reaction vis-à-vis worldwide financial difficulties or recession, risks of shortages of food and raw materials, or trade related aspects of climate change. In this context, in overcoming the current severe economic situations, the two governments are determined to resist protectionist pressures and express their intention to join plurilateral and multilateral efforts for a robust alliance against protectionist measures in the world.
- We underline the great importance both sides attach to our continued cooperation in the WTO, in particular in the framework of the Friends of Anti-Dumping Negotiations and the Group of Net Agricultural Importers (G-10), and to the successful conclusion of the Doha Round, which we see as crucial for the good functioning and further improvement of the world trading system, especially for consolidation of an open, predictable and rules-based framework for international economic exchange and cooperation.
February 19, 2009
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
Vice-President of the Swiss Federal
Council and Head of the Federal
Department of Economic Affairs
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