ERJ staff report (BC)
Tokyo - The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) has welcomed a decision by the European Union's 27 member countries to mandate the European Commission to open negotiations for a bilateral EU-Japan free trade agreement.
On behalf of the Commission, Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht said that the EU Council of Ministers' green light â€œwas an important political decision if we want to foster growth and jobs in Europe,â€ adding â€œThat's exactly what our economies need.â€
Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry also warmly welcomed the decision, and its Foreign Affairs Ministry stressed that â€œthe economic partnership agreement will benefit economic growth both for Japan and Europe.â€
JAMA members claim 12 plants in seven countries in the EU and 12 R&D centres in five countries, with over 164,000 people are employed through their activities there. In 2011 their purchases of EU-made auto parts totalled â‚¬11.75 billion.
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