(1st) BRT Annual Meeting, Brussels, 07 & 08 October 1999

The EU-Japan Business Round Table was officially formed in 1999 (as the "EU-Japan Business Dialogue Round Table, or "BDRT"), following the merger of the EU-Japan Industrialists' Round Table (established on 01/06/1996) and the EU-Japan Business Forum.

A European Commission Press Release of 06/10/1999 announced 'EU-Japan relations: Commissioners Prodi, Liikanen and Lamy will attend the first "EU-Japan Business Dialogue Roundtable"'. French and German versions of the 06/10/1999 release were also issued.The first BRT meeting was also referred to in a European Commission press release issued on 11/01/2000 and the "reinvigoration of the EU-Japan business dialogue" was mentioned in a press release of 21/04/1999.


(Left to right) BRT co-Chairmen Tadahiro Sekimoto (Japan-side) and Étienne Davignon (EU-side) greet European Commission President Romano Prodi at the first meeting of the EU-Japan Business Round Table




The EU-Japan Business Round Table took place on 7 & 8 October 1999 and was co-chaired by Messrs. Étienne Davignon and Tadahiro Sekimoto. The first day began with a speech by Enterprise Commissioner Erkki Liikanen. That was followed by a plenary session devoted to "Changes of Business Environment" with discussions about the Prospects of EU economy, the Prospects of Japanese economy and the Financial crisis and remedial measures.

European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy opened the afternoon session with a speech entitled, The EU and Japan - Partners in a Globalised World. It continued with discussions about the future work of the BRT's first 4 Working Parties. The first day ended with a drinks reception and dinner during which European Commission President Romano Prodi delivered the keynote address. The second day consisted of a discussion of the future work of the BRT's Working Party on electronic commerce and then a wrap-up session with comments from the EU and Japanese Authorities.


Various documents are available from the meeting:


The BRT and the EU-Japan Summit

20/06/1999 - Gerhard Schroeder, President of the European Council, Mr. Keizo Obuchi, Prime Minister of Japan, and Mr. Jacques Santer, President of the European Commission, met in Bonn on 20 June 1999 for the Eighth Summit between the European Union and Japan.

The formal Joint Press Statement by Messrs. Schroeder, Obuchi and Santer mentioned the BRT:

Expanding economic and trade relations

They welcomed the progress made by their respective business communities towards strengthening the EU-Japan business dialogue. They also welcomed the recent decision to establish the EU- Japan Business Dialogue Round Table and expressed their support for this forum which should lead to more effective and broad-based private sector input into policies to promote trade and investment bilaterally and multilaterally.

The Summary of the 8th Japan-EU Summit also mentioned the BRT:

(3) Economic and trade relations

a) Macroeconomic development in Europe, Asia, and Japan: The EU side welcomed the steps taken by Japan for its economic recovery and its efforts to facilitate the recovery of Asian economies. Both sides expressed the expectation that the euro will become a stable and reliable international currency.
b) Japan-EU deregulation dialogue: The leaders agreed to deepen the deregulation dialogue by focusing on the priority issues and reviewing their progress regularly at Japan-EU ministerial meetings.
c) Japan-EU Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA): Japan and the EU agreed on the main elements of the agreement in four priority sectors.
d) Japan-EU business dialogue: The leaders welcomed the strengthening of dialogue between the Japanese and EU business communities.
e) World Trade Organization: The leaders welcomed the close cooperation and accordance of views between Japan and the EU in the WTO and reaffirmed their intention to strengthen their cooperation toward the launching of a new round of multilateral trade negotiations. They also expressed their support for the accession of China to the WTO as early as possible.

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