April 15, 2002


Proposal from Japanese Private Industry Sector for the Strengthening of the Japan-Australia Economic Relationship


Japan-Australia Business Cooperation Committee


We greatly appreciate the friendly and stable relations between Japan and Australia to date, based on the complementary bilateral relationship, and we hope that this economic relationship will be further strengthened. It is pertinent that we maintain and

further develop the existing favorable relations, promote exchanges in such new sectors that will contribute to the future development of our two countries and deepen our relationship in various fields.

From this viewpoint, we strongly propose that our two governments immediately commence study for the conclusion of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which includes a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

@@‚PDExamination by Study Group

@@@@@@Following an agreement at the 39th Japan-Australia Joint Business Conference, held in October, 2001 in Tokyo, to examine measures for strengthening the economic relations between our two countries, a study group was formed within the Japan-Australia Business Cooperation Committee, and it has held several meetings to work on a proposal.

Recognition of the present and future relationship between Japan and Australia

@@@@@@Australia, an advanced country blessed with political and economic stability, will remain important to Japan as a supplier of natural resources in the future. For the future development of the Japanese economy, it is essential that we continue to maintain and further develop our stable economic relations with Australia, a country with transparency and reliability.

@@@@@@Not only do we need to maintain and develop our existing favorable relations, it is important to promote exchanges in the new sectors that will contribute to the future development of our two countries, which includes creation of leading-edge industries, paying special attention to the advanced technology and system in Australia. Furthermore, we should try to make institutional arrangement for expanding transaction of goods and services and deepening in the partnership relations between our two industries, and to establish our partnership in various fields such as freer movement of individuals.

@@@@@@In addition to the promotion of the transaction of goods and services, it is important that Japan and Australia establish partnerships in the following areas:

@@@@@@First, it will be useful for the promotion of smoother trade if both countries mutually approve the products of the other country, such as the safety standards for appliances, and if trade documents can be electronically transacted. Mutual economic development would also benefit from increased exchanges in science and technology, such as biotechnology, IT, nanotechnology and environmental technology that will form the core of leading-edge industries of the future. There is also a pressing need to make considerations for the cooperation in the protection of intellectual property and the establishment of a mechanism for dispute settlement as a safety net in the increasingly globalized world economy. In addition, it is essential that universities play a key role to ensure exchange of talented individuals, and that small and medium venture enterprises of our two countries cooperate with each other, in order to further enhance the activities between our two countries and to strengthen the Japan-Australia economic relationship.

@@@@@@In order to attain those objectives, we believe that Japan and Australia should establish a comprehensive economic partnership relationship based on the gJapan-Singapore Economic Agreement for a New Age Partnership,h signed in January, 2002.

@@@@@@We are confident that a comprehensive economic partnership agreement between Japan and Australia will not only strengthen the economic relationship of our two countries, but also contribute to the stability and economic development of the Asia Pacific region.

Towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

@@@@@@While, we recognize that there is a desire from the Australian private industry sector to conclude a comprehensive economic agreement with Japan, including a FTA, we recognize that if our two countries are to sign such an agreement, there are difficult challenges to be overcome, in areas such as agriculture, fishery and non-ferrous metals in order for the agreement to be consistent with the rules of the WTO.

@@@@@@Nevertheless, we believe that an avenue for reaching a realistic agreement can be explored, if the extensive dialog takes place with a view to strengthening economic relations for the future. Accordingly, we request that both governments immediately commence study aiming to conclude a comprehensive economic partnership agreement, including a FTA. We, therefore, strongly propose that our two governments first design an outline of the comprehensive economic partnership agreement, and then start with discussion addressing the relatively easy areas.