Europe and Japan discuss rail trade agreement

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The very first EU-Japan Industrial Dialogue on Railways has been held in Brussels hoping to boost international relations between two of the world’s leading rail sectors.

Organised by the European Commission and Japanese government, the event, which took place on March 27, addressed key issues in the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations, touching on technical regulations, safety standards and market access issues.

The talks coincided with the fifth round of EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and the European Rail Industry Association (Unife) took part in the meeting.

In a statement after the event, CER said there was “a need to intensify the level of mutual recognition between the EU and Japan in order to alleviate the process of accessing a market without already being established in it”.

Unife director General Philippe Citroën added: “The Industrial Dialogue should give impetus to the ongoing negotiations in the rail sector as it provides a platform to monitor commitments. In this respect, Unife has high expectations for the fifth round of negotiations set to take place next week, and expects a comprehensive set of measures to be agreed upon to achieve a level playing field between the European and Japanese rail markets.”

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