9th BRT Annual Meeting, Berlin, 03 & 04 June 2007:


The 2007 BRT annual meeting took place in Berlin on 3 & 4 June 2007. It was co-chaired by Baron Georges Jacobs (Chairman of the Board, UCB) and Tadashi Okamura (Chairman of the Board, Toshiba Corporation). Senior Authority participants in the meeting were: Günter Verheugen, European Commission Vice-President in charge of Enterprise & Industry; Kozo Yamamoto, Deputy Minister of Economy, Trade & Industry; Midori Matsushima, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs; Hideo Shimizu, Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination, Ministry of Internal Affairs & Communications from Japan; and Georg Boomgaarden, State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office from the German Government.

The first day began with the endorsement of the 2007 set of BRT Recommendations to the EU and Japanese Authorities. That was followed by the first Joint Session with the EU and Japanese Authorities – including a discussion entitled, "EU-Japan – reinforcing the strategic partnership". During the Drinks Reception and Dinner, EC VP Verheugen and MOFA Vice-Minister Matsushima gave keynote speeches. The second day began with private discussions entitled, "Facing new global realities together", "Competitive challenges from emerging countries & Strengthening EU-Japan economic cooperation", "WTO DDA negotiations", "Staying competitive through innovation", "The challenges for EU-Japan cooperation: innovation policy, infrastructure & high-tech businesses", "Driving innovation process & technology", "Aiming for sustainability: Energy, climate change & environment”, "Energy security" and "Climate change & environmental policies".

A press conference was held during the lunch break on the second day. The second Joint session with EU and Japanese Authorities included speeches by European Commission Vice-President Verheugen, METI Deputy Minister Yamamoto, MOFA Vice-Minister Matsushima and MIC Vice-Minister Shimizu. After a closing session, there was a buffet dinner during a Spree river cruise, to mark the 20th anniversary of the EU-Japan Centre’s creation.


BRT opens the way towards an EU-Japan bilateral trade agreement

During the 2007 annual meeting, the BRT stated its commitment to:

"[C]reating the necessary conditions to deepen the full potential of EU-Japan economic relations, which are far from being fully exploited. With that in view and in line with its commitment to the WTO, the [BRT] proposes Japan and the EU authorities to establish a task force with business support to explore the feasibility of a Japan-EU Economic Integration Agreement, which should be an enriched economic agreement that includes priority issues for business such as strengthened regulatory cooperation, intellectual property, trade enhancement, and improving the investment environment. EU and Japan business expects the results of the outcome of the task force by the 2008 [BRT] meeting."

The Joint Report from the Taskforces for an EU-Japan Economic Integration Agreement was delivered to the BRT's 2008 annual meeting.


Various documents are available from the meeting:


Other documents relating to the work of the BRT in 2007:

  • The draft Dinner Speech given by Günter Verheugen, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Enterprise and Industry.

  • The 2008 Progress Reports from the European Commission and the Government of Japan, prepared in response to the BRT's 2007 Recommendations.


Submission of Recommendations to the EU-Japan Summit

05/06/2007 - The 16th EU-Japan Summit was held in Berlin on 05 June 2007 and brought together Dr. Angela Merkel (Federal Chancellor of Germany, in her capacity as President of the European Council), assisted by High Representative Dr. Javier Solana; and Messrs. Jose Manuel Barroso (President of the European Commission) and Shinzo Abe (Prime Minister of Japan).

BRT co-Chairmen Baron Georges Jacobs (Chairman of the Board, UCB) and Mr Tadashi Okamura (Chairman of the Board, Toshiba Corporation) submitted the BRT's 2007 Recommendations to the Summit Leaders.

(Left to right) Tadashi Okamura (BRT co-Chairman); Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan; Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor of Germany; Georges Jacobs (BRT co-Chairman); José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission and Jürgen Thumann (Vice-President - BusinessEurope, President - BDI). Photo © European Community, 2007

The 17th paragraph of the Joint Press Statement issued by the Summit Leaders mentioned the work of the BRT (emphasis added):

The EU and Japan appreciate the joint input from the business communities, via the Business Dialogue Roundtable (BDRT) and they reaffirmed the value of responding to the recommendations of the BDRT. Summit leaders welcome the handover of the business recommendations adopted in Berlin on 4 June. The EU and Japan celebrated the 20th anniversary of the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation and expect it to take an even more active role in the next decade.


Photographs from the 2007 BRT

Georges Jacobs
(BRT EU-side Chairman)
  Günter Verheugen
(European Commission Vice-President)
  Tadashi Okamura
(BRT Japan-side Chairman)

Additional photos can be found at the bottom of this page (click on each image to see an enlarged version). All these photos are © Christian Kruppa, 2007


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