Monday, November 14, 2005

Looking outward

It's being met with some resistance on both sides, but Canada and Japan are now looking at closer economic co-operation:
Canada and Japan are moving closer to free-trade talks, sources say, with both countries now ready to sign an economic co-operation deal and launch a joint study that Ottawa believes will lead to full-fledged negotiations.

The framework deal ready to be inked would strengthen economic co-operation between Canada and Japan, while the joint study -- expected to take up to one year -- would probe the benefits of further liberalization of trade and investment rules between the countries...

The economic framework deal would promote closer Canada-Japan co-operation on matters including society, security, anti-competitive activities, food safety, customs, transportation, investment, science and technology, electronic commerce, energy and natural resources and tourism promotion.
It's apparently taken a wake-up call on both sides to get the initiative going, as Canada's softwood lumber dispute with the U.S. coincided with Japan's need to react to much stronger competition from India and China. The economic framework in particular should be nothing but a plus for both states, and it'll be all the better if a future free-trade deal can open up some new markets for Canada.

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