Monday, March 31 - Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Date Monday, March 31 - Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Venue Salle des Congrès, The Arab Institute of Business Managers (IACE) La Maison de l' Entreprise Avenue principale, 1053 Les Berges du Lac, Tunis, Tunisia
Sponsors the Japan Economic Foundation (JEF) the Tunisian Agency for Technical Cooperation (ATCT) the Arab Institute of Business Managers (IACE)

TopicsJEF-ATCT-IACE Symposium
"Possibility of an FTA between the Arab Maghreb Union Countries and Japan"

Welcoming remarks by
Amor Jilani, Chairman and Director General, ATCT
Noboru Hatakeyama, Chairman and CEO, JEF

Opening remarks by H.E. Mr. Salah Hannachi, Former Ambassador to Japan

Session I: Relationships between Japan and the Arab Maghreb Union countries: stocktaking and opportunitiesModerator
Libya: Hafez Ibrahim, President, Libyan Business Council & Vice-President of Maghreb Business Council

Key points for discussion:
1. Trade
Speakers (7 minutes):
Japan: Saburo Yuzawa, Chief Advisor, Egyptian Export Promotion Center as JICA Expert
2. Foreign Direct Investment flows
Speakers (7 minutes):
Tunisia: Mohamed Hédi Lahoual, Professor, University of Tunis El Manar
3. Financial cooperation
Speakers (7 minutes):
Tunisia: Fayçal Lakhoua, Professor, University of Tunis El Manar

Q & A

Session II: Exchange of experiences EPA (Japan) / Association and Free Trade Agreements (AMU countries) Moderator
Japan: Naoyuki Haraoka, Executive Managing Director, JEF

Key points for discussion:
I. Japan's experience
1. South East Asia countries
2. Mexico
3. negotiations with GCC
4. FTA / EPA
Speakers (7 minutes):
Japan: Yukiko Fukagawa, Professor, Waseda University

II. AMU countries experience
1. Barcelona Process
2. Dialogue 5+5
3. Free Trade and Association Agreements between Europe and AMU countries: financial and economic instruments

Speaker (7 minutes):
AMU: Jamel Boujdaria, Department Head, Economic Affairs
Commentator (7 minutes)
Tunisia: Mohamed Hédi Lahoual, Professor, University of Tunis El Manar

Q & A

Session III: A FTA / EPA between the Arab Maghreb Union countries and Japan: Opportunities and challengesModerator
Tunisia: Salah Hannachi, Former Ambassador to Japan

Key points for discussion:
- Advantages
- Challenges
- Content / scope
- Approach
- Schedule
- Feasibility study

Speakers: (7 minutes each)
1. Japan: Noboru Hatakeyama, Chairman and CEO, JEF
2. Algeria: Sid Ali Abdellaoui, Consultant, Medibtikar
3. Libya: Hakim Nagah, Chairman, LIBO Consulting
4. Mauritania: Mohamed Lemine Ould Deidah, Chairman of the Board, Mauritania Airways
5. Japan: Norio Gomi, Special Guest Professor, Meiji University
6. Morocco: Moncef Kettani, Chairman, Union PME-PMI
7. Tunisia: Moez Belkhiria, Executive President, BSB TOYOTA

Q & A



SummarySummary (English)Summary (Japanese)

Chairman's SpeechOpening remarks by Mr. Noboru Hatakeyama (March 31, 2008 @JEF-ATCT-IACE Symposium in Tunis, Tunisia)

Opening remarks by Mr. Noboru Hatakeyama, Chairman and CEO, Japan Economic Foundation

His Excellency Ambassador Salah Hannachi, Mr. Amor Jilani, Chairman and Director General of Tunisian Agency for Technical Cooperation (ATCT), Mr. Chekib Nouira, President of Arab Institute of Business Managers (IACE), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

It is my great honor and privilege to welcome all of you to the International Symposium, "Possibility of an FTA between the Arab Maghreb Union Countries and Japan" h, co-hosted by Tunisian Agency for Technical Cooperation(ATCT) and Arab Institute of Business Managers(IACE).

Japan has celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Tunisia and Morocco in 2006 and with Libya in 2007. This has led Japan to recognize the deepening its relationship with these countries from the viewpoint of promoting Middle East and African policies.

Moreover, with their strong economic ties to the EU, these countries could be useful for Japanese enterprises as strongholds for investment that targets not only Arab and African markets but also for investment that targets the EU. Considering that Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the EU, they are even significant to Japan.

Talking about Japan's FTA policy, Japan has, to date, signed bilateral FTAs with East Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia. In addition, Japan has also signed a Sub-Regional FTA with ASEAN. Japan has also concluded FTAs with Mexico and Chile, and is pursuing FTA negotiations with Switzerland and Australia.

But Japan has not concluded nor even negotiated FTAs with any of African countries yet although Past TICADs have included talks on various plans to facilitate the development of Africa through the promotion of investment and trade between Asia and Africa.

Under those circumstances, I strongly believe that it is worth discussing "the possibility of Japan-Arab Magfreb Union countries FTA" if we take it into account that Japan is currently in complementary relationships with those countries.

As a series of JEF's projects to deepen mutual understanding between Japan and other countries through activities aimed at promoting economic and technological exchange, JEF has organized the International Symposium in various cities in Asia, US and Europe mainly focusing on a region-wide or bilateral FTA.

Now, this time, we have chosen Tunis as the venue for the symposium, mainly because Tunisia is sort of FTA hub in this region.

I hope that this symposium will discuss those issues I mentioned above, including economic relationships, exchange of experiences EPA/FTA, Feasibility of an EPA/FTA between Japan and Arab Maghreb Union countries.

On this note, I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Amor Jilani, Mr. Chekib Nouira, all distinguished speakers and the panelists and you, the participants for making this symposium realized.

In particular, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my longtime friend, Mr. Salah Hannachi, former Ambassador to Japan for delivering the keynote speech immediately after my remarks. I sincerely feel grateful that he accepted our invitation.

Finally, I would also like to thank all staff of ATCT and IACE which has greatly contributed to this symposium. I wish all of you an interesting and fruitful discussion.

Thank you very much.

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