Unife calls for ‘level playing field’ in Japan

Posted on 19 Mar 2017 and read 716 times
Unife calls for ‘level playing field’ in JapanUnife (www.unife.org), the European association for the railway supply industry, has called on the Japanese government to ensure “transparent and open” procurement in the country’s railway sector, “particularly given the major contracts Japanese suppliers have been awarded in the European Union”.

Negotiations for an EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement were discussed during the sixth meeting of the EU-Japan Industrial Dialogue on Railways, which was held at the Unife headquarters in Brussels at the end of last month.

Unife said that, while it supports a prior commitment by the EU and Japan to reach an agreement as soon as possible, “the desire to conclude an agreement should not prevail over the quality of the resulting deal”.

Unife director general Philippe Citroën said: “We are calling for major and tangible changes going far beyond the existing agreements, which were implemented in 2014. These have brought only limited improvements, with access to the Japanese market remaining a real challenge due to discriminatory and non-transparent procurement practices.

“Unife has high expectations with respect to market access, and it calls for a comprehensive agreement on rail to achieve a true ‘level playing field’ between the European and Japanese rail markets.”

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