27-28 October, 2005

Date 27-28 October, 2005
Asia-Pacific Forum 2005Asia-Pacific Forum 2005
Venue The Westin Chosun, SEOUL(@ Orchid Room)
87, Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea, 100-070
TEL: (82-2) 771-0500
FAX: (82-2)753-6370
URL: http://www.echosunhotel.com/
Co-hosted Japan Economic Foundation(JEF)
11th Floor, Jiji Press Building, 5-15-8
Ginza Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan, 104-0061
TEL:(81-3) 5565-4824
FAX:(81-3) 5565-4828
URL: www.jef.or.jp
Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
300-4, Yomgokdong, Seochogu, Seoul 137-747, Korea
TEL: (82-2) 3460-1114
FAX: (82-2) 3460-1125
URL: http://www.kiep.go.kr

ProgramSession 1: Bilateral and regional FTAs in the regioni) Assessment of the FTAs already in force in the region
ii) Difficult issues for many FTAs to cope with (WTO compatibility and other issues)

Session 2: What is ASEAN Economic Community?

Session 3: Creating the EAFTAi) Timing of the Creation of EAFTA and an Integrated Road-map to Achieving it
ii) Members of EAFTA

Session 4: The relation between bilateral or regional FTAs in the region and a possible EAFTAHarmonization of the Rules of Origin for Creating the EAFTA



Chairman's SpeechOpening Remarks by Mr. Hatakeyama (27 Oct. 2005 @ JEF-KIEP International Symposium)

H.E. Dr. SUPACHAI Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development(UNCTAD), Dr. Kyung Tae Lee, President, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), Distinguished guests and ladies and gentlemen;

On behalf of Japan Economic Foundation, it is my great honor and privilege to welcome all of you to the International Symposium "Creating East Asia Free Trade Area" which we are co-hosting with Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP).

In March, 2003, JEF and SIIA (Singapore Institute of International Affairs) co-organized the International Symposium entitled "FTA: JSEPA and Beyond" in Singapore. JSEPA stands for Japan-Singapore Economic Partnership Agreement, which is the first free trade agreement Japan has ever had.

Following the symposium in Singapore, in January, last year and in February this year, we co-organized the symposium with Thammasat University in Bangkok and with AIM (Asian Institute of Management) in Manila respectively, focusing on the future prospects of EAFTA (East Asian Free Trade Area).

Now, this time, we have chosen Seoul as the venue for the symposium, mainly because, as you all are aware, Japan-Korea Free Trade Agreement is under negotiation between the governments of two countries, Japan and Korea.

Looking back on the history of this negotiation, in the summit meeting held in Tokyo on October, 1998, then Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi of Japan and then President Kim Dae-jung of the Republic of Korea signed the Joint Declaration of the New Japan-ROK Partnership for the 21st Century to built a future-oriented relationship with a view to reinforcing economic partnership between the two countries.

Against this backdrop, '21st century Japan-Korea Economic Relations Study Group' was established in December 1998 under the initiative of research institutions, JETRO's Institute of Developing Economies (IDE) of Japan and Korea Institute for the International Economic Policy (KIEP) to examine the economic feasibility of a FTA between the two countries. In the meantime, I was leading this study on Japan side as Chairman and CEO of JETRO.
It is quite a coincidence that I am working together with KIEP again as co-organizers of this Symposium.

Through the last three symposiums in Singapore, Bangkok and Manila, we have closely examined the existing FTAs and the advantages that they can and in some cases, are already offering new opportunities for businesses. We have also discussed some of broader aspects of FTA movement in Asia including ASEAN-China, ASEAN-Japan, ASEAN-Korea FTAs and possible East Asia FTA.

Through these discussions, I have come to strongly believe that what is most important in this area is to launch as soon as possible a study and then negotiations on EAFTA(East Asian Free Trade Agreement), including 15 economies in this area, namely ASEAN plus three, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
It might be worth exploring the possibility to include Australia, New Zealand and India.

This symposium aims at discussing a possible road-map to East Asia Free Trade Agreement focusing on the relation between the bilateral or regional FTAs in the region and possible EAFTA.

On this note, I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Kyung Tae Lee, President of Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), all the distinguished speakers and the panelists from nine countries and you, the participants for making this symposium realized. In particular, I would like to record my gratitude to His Excellency Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (Former Director-General of the World Trade Organization) (WTO) to deliver the Keynote Speech after this session. I sincerely appreciate that he accepted our invitation despite his hectic schedule.

I would also like to thank all staff of The Korea Institute of International Economic Policy, which has greatly contributed to realizing this symposium.
I wish all of you an interesting and fruitful discussion.
Thank you very much.