EBC Newsletter – May 24, 2023

EBC Newsletter – May 24, 2023

From the EBC

Dear Friends of the EBC,

The EBC Railway Committee visited the Ministry for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) on 28 April. At the MLIT, the EBC met with officials from the International Standardization Office of the Railway Bureau. Most of the discussions around the table focused on standardisation and conformity assessment schemes. The EBC has long been an advocator for a common assessment scheme covering all railway operators in Japan. Under such a system, the number of tests required would be drastically reduced without lowering the safety and performance levels. If you are interested in this topic and are looking for further information, please look at our digital White Paper!  (please scroll down to see the Key issues and recommendations)

On Tuesday 30 May from 15:30, the EBC Sustainability and Social Responsibility Committee will hold an event on the sustainability dimension of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. Three guest speakers will share their expertise and views:
Gabriele Lo Monaco, DG TRADE, European Commission; previously First Secretary, Trade Section, Delegation of the EU to Japan; Sarah Herman, dual Master’s graduate student, University of Tokyo – Sciences Po Paris, author of a research on the implications of the EU-Japan EPA for EU-Japan relations around sustainable trade and development; Roisin Neville, graduate student, University of Oxford, author of a research about the relationship between the EU-Japan EPA and climate policy.
If you are a European company potentially interested in joining this committee, the EBC would like to invite you to take part in our discussions. To register for the meeting and for more information, send an email to: [email protected]

The European economy continues to show resilience in a challenging global context. Lower energy prices, abating supply constraints and a strong labour market supported moderate growth in the first quarter of 2023, dispelling fears of a recession. This better-than-expected start to the year lifts the growth outlook for the EU economy to 1.0% in 2023 (0.8% in the Winter interim Forecast) and 1.7% in 2024 (1.6% in the winter). Upward revisions for the euro area are of a similar magnitude, with GDP growth now expected at 1.1% and 1.6% in 2023 and 2024 respectively. On the back of persisting core price pressures, inflation has also been revised upwards compared to the winter, to 5.8% in 2023 and 2.8% in 2024 in the euro area”. To know more about the European economy, please read the Spring 2023 Economic Forecast: an improved outlook amid persistent challenges released on 15 May 2023 by the European Commission.

The EBC team is looking forward to hearing from you,

Valerie Moschetti
EBC Chief Operating Officer

What’s in the Media

  • Japan will expand the use of outer space for its defense and ensure the safety of intelligence-gathering satellites, as China and Russia are increasingly utilizing space for military purposes, a source close to the matter said Tuesday.  Citing a draft of a document on space security, the source said Japan will also team up with the United States and boost its abilities to destroy targets in enemy territory including missile bases, known as “counterstrike capabilities.” (The Mainichi)
  • Japan is considering overhauling its tax-free shopping scheme for foreign visitors in response to a growing number of cases of tax-free items being resold overseas for profit at tax-inclusive prices, sources close to the matter said Monday. (Kyodo News+)
  • Leaders of the G7 recognized the importance of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles, not only new cars but also existing vehicle stock. They also agreed to build a system that evaluates decarbonization technologies in a positive light. On Saturday in Hiroshima, the leaders acknowledged their commitment to decarbonize to achieve a society of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest. They will also accelerate their efforts. (The Japan News)

Upcoming EBC Committee Meetings

Date Committee Time / Location
May 25 (Thu) Human Resources hybrid
May 25 (Thu) Medical Equipment & Diagnostics Off-site
May 30 (Tue) Sustainability & Social Responsibility hybrid
June 2 (Fri) Automotive Components & Aftermarket hybrid
June 2 (Fri) Liquor hybrid
June 12 (Mon) Materials hybrid
June 16 (Fri) Railways hybrid
June 21 (Wed) Food & Agriculture hybrid
June 22 (Thu) Human Resources hybrid
June 22 (Thu) Medical Equipment & Diagnostics Off-site
June 29 (Thu) Telecommunications Equipment Web

If you are interested in joining a committee meeting, please contact the EBC to confirm the time and meeting place.

Stakeholders of the EBC:

European Business Council JAPAN
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