Organizations welcome trade talks with Japan
Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during a presentation at Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's official residence in Tokyo on Sunday, March 25, 2012. (Issei Kato/Reuters)
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Canada Beef welcomed Sunday's announcement of a Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The prime minister is on a six-day tour of Asia, with stops in Thailand, Japan and South Korea.
"Canada and Japan have largely complementary economies. Greater effective market access through an Economic Partnership Agreement could yield economic gains for both countries," Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement issued Sunday morning. "This visit and this announcement highlight the strong relations between our two countries. They demonstrate Canada's re-engagement in Asia, and that is great news for the Canadian business community."
Japan remains the world's third largest economy and Asia's second, just behind China.
The organization says that "an EPA with Japan, provided it achieves real market access for Canadian goods and services, would revitalize our economic ties and be a good step forward in moving Canada's business presence in the Asia-Pacific region forward."
In November 2011, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce published a report highlighting the benefits of enhanced Canada-Japan relations and what a successful Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement could achieve.
Canada Beef called the opening of free trade negotiations with Japan an "extremely important step."
"Today's announcement of a Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement is great news for Canada's beef and veal industry," Rob Meijer, president of Canada Beef Inc., said in a release. "We're hopeful this will ultimately lead to Japan allowing full market access to Canadian beef. This would mean a significant increase in the premium value and volume of exports."
In 2010, Canada's exports of beef to Japan was worth $81.4 million, the organization said.
"Modest projections show that full market access could exceed 20,000 tonnes valued at $125 million dollars annually."