PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE PROMOTION AND THE MINISTRY FOR THE ECONOMY, INVESTMENT AND SMALL BUSINESSES

EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will enhance commercial ties and further cooperation between Japan and Malta � Minister Abela, Minister Cardona

During a seminar, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela and Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses Chris Cardona stated that the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will enhance further cooperation and commercial ties between Japan and Malta.

The seminar looked at the impact that the agreement would have on relations between the countries. Minister Abela stated that, it will unleash lucrative trade and investment opportunities that will contribute to the strengthening of our societies, and reinforce the competitiveness of our innovative economies.

Having been described by the European Commission as a model of the highest standard on free, open, and fair trade, which provides the regulatory framework that reflects the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, the Minister explained that the agreement goes beyond economic benefits.

It demonstrates to the world, the firm political will of the EU and of Japan to defend the principles of free trade and reject protectionism.

The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement is one of the largest and most comprehensive economic agreements that both the EU and Japan have concluded so far. It will create a significant economic zone, benefitting more than 600 million people and representing approximately 30% of the world’s GDP.

The minister added that it will also help Malta partner with Japan on new areas of cooperation, such as cyber-security and disaster management, and will also provide access to the EU’s single market due to its cultural links and physical proximity to North African and Middle East.

High-value products from Japan are becoming increasingly sought after by developing countries in the African continent�a continent Malta is about to open its first High Commission in, in Ghana, Minister Abela stated.

And Maltese companies familiar with these emerging markets can be the ideal partners for Japanese companies seeking a foothold in the region without the necessity of physically opening an office.

The minister explained that the diplomatic network is even more focused on promoting Malta’s commercial interests abroad since trade promotion was added to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ portfolio, along with TradeMalta�a partnership agency between the government and the Malta Chamber of Commerce, committed to supporting Malta-based businesses reach international markets with their products and services.

My ministry ran ambitious trade promotion initiatives throughout the second half of last year and earlier this year, including many trade delegations which I joined, from India to Ghana, and Ukraine to Tunisia.

Diplomatic relations between Malta and Japan have gone from strength to strength since they were established in 1965. Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe visited Malta in an official capacity last year, and agreed to strive towards increased political, economic, and commercial relations between the two countries during talks with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

Minister Cardona noted how the relationship between Malta and Japan is blossoming, opening up vast opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to step up and invigorate this partnership. Sectors offering prospects for Japanese investments in Malta might include precision engineering, pharmaceuticals, machinery and mechanical appliances, plastic and plastic products, chemicals, aircraft parts, software development, and toys and games.

Both ministers thanked the Malta-Japan Chamber of Commerce and Malta’s Ambassador to Japan Andre Spiteri for all their work to bring Malta and Japan closer together.

Source: Government of Malta