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Chamber Gives Japanese Businesspeople Advice

Chamber Tells Japanese Businesspeople to Consider Joining P4

Japan should consider joining the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (P4), according to Charles Finny, Chief Executive of the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Finny made his comments in a speech to the Japan New Zealand Business Council today.

New Zealand and Japan have an investigative study pending on the benefits of a free-trade deal, which the Chamber is very positive about, but Mr Finny told conference participants that it would be difficult for Japan to achieve an FTA with New Zealand if that negotiation were with New Zealand alone.

"We should keep trying for rapid progress but we should all be realistic about the constraints imposed by Japanese agricultural politics," said Mr Finny.

"The United States has recently announced its intention to begin negotiations to join the P4. Peru, Australia and Vietnam have indicated an interest in joining also.

"What was known as "P4" is looking as though it will become "P8" and as well as the four economies that have stated an interest in joining, many others are looking on with great interest.

"It seems to me that Japan cannot afford to stand outside the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership for long.

"Not being part of the process risks serious marginalisation. Japan as a great trading nation cannot risk this.

"There are clearly positive benefits from being part of this process, much greater benefits than those that would flow from a purely bilateral FTA with New Zealand. And clearly the earlier Japan is part of the process the greater the benefits will be.

Mr Finny said a single high quality agreement for the region is better than the spaghetti bowl of FTAs that exist currently.

"If we get the Trans Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership right we can simplify things greatly by replacing a large number of bilateral or regional agreements on varying quality with one high quality agreement," Mr Finny concluded.

Click here for a copy of the speech


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