11th BRT Annual Meeting – Brussels, 06 & 07 July 2009:


The 11th annual meeting of the EU-Japan Business Round Table (BRT) was held at the Palais d’Égmont in Brussels on 6 & 7 July 2009.

The meeting was co-chaired by Georges Jacobs (Delhaize Group & UCB) & Hajime Sasaki (NEC). The meeting theme was "Securing stability in difficult economic times".

During the meeting the BRT co-Chairmen submitted the BRT’s Recommendations to the EU and Japanese Authorities (European Commission, Swedish EU Presidency and to the Japanese Ministries of Economy, Trade & Industry and of Foreign Affairs).


Topics discussed

The meeting agenda included:

  • Short Reports by Working Party Leaders
  • Private sector discussions on:
    • The effects of the financial crisis: an overview (with guest speakers from the Asian Development Bank and National Bank of Belgium, ECB)
    • The financial crisis: what does it mean for companies?
    • How can the EU and Japan address common challenges?
  • Joint Session with Representatives of the Japanese and EU Authorities (including Günther Verheugen – Vice-President, European Commission; Yoshifumi Matsumura - Parliamentary Vice-Minister, Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry of Japan; and Yasutoshi Nishimura - Parliamentary Vice-Minister, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Japan)
  • Press Conference

At the end of the meeting, Georges Jacobs stood down as Chairman of the EU-side of the BRT. He was succeeded by Jean-Yves Legall (Arianespace).


Documents from the 2009 annual meeting

Various documents are available from the 06 & 07 July 2009 annual meeting:


Submission of Recommendations

The 2009 set of BRT Recommendations was submitted to Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen; Tim Brooks (Director for the International Secretariat at the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise) representing the Swedish Presidency of the EU; METI Parliamentary Vice Minister Yoshifumi Matsumura and Parliamentary Vice-Minister for MOFA Yasutoshi Nishimura.

EC Commissioner Verheugen, Swedish Presidency, Vice-Ministers Matsumura and Nishimura

(Left to right) BRT Japan-side Chairman, Hajime Sasaki; MOFA's Yasutoshi Nishimura; METI's Yoshifumi Matsumura; EC VP Günther Verheugen; BRT EU-side Chairman, Georges Jacobs and Tim Brooks (Swedish Ministry of Enterprise).


The BRT and the EU-Japan Summit

The 18th EU-Japan Summit was held in Prague on 4 May 2009 and brought together Messrs. Václav Klaus (President of the Czech Republic), assisted by High Representative Dr Javier Solana; José Manuel Barroso (President of the European Commission); and Taro Aso (Prime Minister of Japan). The BRT co-Chairmen issued a Statement by the EU-Japan Business Round Table on the occasion of the EU-Japan Summit.

Paragraph 44 of the Summit Joint Press Statement mentioned the BRT:

Summit leaders recognised the value of the work of the EU-Japan Business Round Table and continued to have an interest in the discussions between the business communities of both sides. They took note of BRT’s intention to continue its discussions for strengthening EU-Japan economic cooperation.


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