Association, Inc.

Issue No. 3, 2012

New chairman hosts JAMA's 15th reception in Brussels in June

ToyodaThe 15th JAMA reception took place on 27 June at the Royal Museum of Art and History in Brussels.  JAMA’s new chairman Mr Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation, welcomed more than 180 guests, including not only industry representatives but also key stakeholders from the European institutions and EU Member States.

With JAMA’s active promotion of an EU-Japan Economic Integration Agreement (EIA) in the background, the event’s theme this year was “EU-Japan Partnership for Economic Growth and Sustainable Mobility”.  The European and Japanese automobile industries are facing common challenges in effectively addressing climate change while maintaining their global competitiveness.  JAMA recognises that a stronger partnership between the EU and Japan will be key both to economic growth and to the forging of effective road transport policies.

Frank HoffmeisterGuest speaker Mr Frank Hoffmeister, Deputy Head of the cabinet of European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht, provided a brief assessment of the progress that the EU and Japan, two of the world’s largest economies, have made towards closer cooperative ties and the negotiation of an EU-Japan EIA.  Mr Hoffmeister observed that through a year of intensive discussions, both governments have agreed on an ambitious agenda for future EIA negotiations.  Mr Hoffmeister also stated that the European Commission was encouraged by the Japanese government’s commitment to resolve the outstanding non-tariff issues of concern to European industries, stressing that political will was essential to the conduct of full-swing negotiations.

JAMA Chairman Toyoda opened his address by providing an overview of JAMA members’ activities in the EU, through which they participate in the EU economy as contributing members (see Article 2 for details of these activities). 

JAMA’s chairman asserted that while the European and Japanese auto industries must both address environmental, energy and road safety issues against a background of economic uncertainty, achieving sustainability will require a long-term, steady and cooperative approach founded on clear vision.

Mr Toyoda explained that JAMA endorses the trade policies needed for EU growth, notably the early establishment of an EU-Japan Economic Integration Agreement (EIA), welcoming Mr Hoffmeister’s comments in that regard.  JAMA also looks forward, he said, to the EU’s implementation of effective countermeasures, including open trade and industrial policies, to its current debt crisis, the latter being a source of global concern.

Referring to the European and Japanese auto industries’ competitive edge in the area of environmental protection, Chairman Toyoda expressed his high expectations that both industries will, together, play a leading role in the advancement of the automobile industry worldwide—to be achieved in a spirit of “competition and cooperation”. 

JAMA and its members look forward to working on these common issues with their European counterparts through even closer dialogue.    

The text of Mr Toyoda’s address is available here.