EU and Japan agree on free trade agreement
Use the tailwind for G20
Strong signal against protectionism for the G20 summit ++ Japan is a major trading partner of the industry ++ Jointly succeed in climate protection.
The German chemical industry association VCI welcomes the signal for free trade and international rules that comes from the political understanding reached in Brussels, regarding a free trade agreement between the EU and Japan.
VCI director-general Utz Tillmann comments: “International agreements are the right way to steer globalisation towards open markets and fair competition. Therefore, the EU and Japan are sending a clear message to the other participants of the G20 summit – for free trade and against protectionism.”
Japan ranks among the major trading partners of the German chemical industry. In 2016 the companies exported chemicals and pharmaceuticals worth 4.3 billion euros to Japan – while the industry imported such goods for well over 2.8 billion euros from the 4th largest chemical producer globally. Tillmann emphasizes: “Our contacts with Japan highlight the importance of free trade for Germany’s export-intensive chemical industry.”
Joint act of strength for climate protection
Global climate protection is another important topic at the G20 summit. The VCI’s director-general: “The chemical industry hopes that the EU as a region will get as many G20 countries on board as possible, with support from the German Presidency and for ambitious goals for climate protection and mandatory emission trading for industry and the energy sector.” According to Tillmann, reducing green-house gases is a great act of strength for all countries, but it is a necessary one. He explains: “Basically, it would be the best if the G20 – as the economic core of the international community of states – committed in Hamburg to joint climate protection efforts. That would open the door for getting a global CO2 price underway.”
Worldwide rules and a will for cooperation are needed to reliably achieve the necessary greenhouse gas cuts by 2050. The German chemical industry had hoped for progress in international cooperation through the Paris Agreement, so Tillmann. But the announced US withdrawal is a political setback in this field, even though the measures of individual US states and the use of shale gas reduce CO2 emissions stateside. Tillmann: “This makes it even more important for the G20 in Hamburg to try to find lines of compromise based on the Paris Agreement.”
- The most important arguments and positions, accompanied by facts and figures, on the topics:
- Press release of the European Commission on the agreement in principle reached by EU and Japan on an Economic Partnership Agreement
- Statement of Kurt Bock, VCI president and chairman of the B20 Taskforce on Energy, Climate & Resource Efficiency, blogged on the website of the International Chamber of Commerce: "Industry is a driver of innovation for global climate protection"
- B20 Policy Recommendations to the G20 (size: 28 pages)
The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of around 1,700 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. For this purpose, the VCI is in contact with politicians, public authorities, other industries, science and media.The VCI stands for over 90 percent of the chemical industry in Germany. In 2016 the German chemical industry realised sales of around 185 billion euros and employed over 447,000 staff.