At the Canada-Japan summit meeting held on January 19, 2005, the leaders of Canada and Japan issued a Joint Statement that set forth an initiative launching an innovative Canada-Japan Economic Framework (the Economic Framework).1 As a practical means of promoting and revitalizing effective Canada-Japan economic ties in an integrated and coherent manner, the Prime Ministers of Canada and Japan signed an action-oriented and flexible Economic Framework in November 2005 on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders meeting in Busan, Korea. Aimed at reinforcing existing bilateral economic ties and addressing new and emerging commercial challenges and opportunities, the Economic Framework reinvigorates the existing government-to-government dialogue, lays the groundwork for future cooperation on priority areas, and emphasizes the role of the private sector in guiding future initiatives. The Economic Framework includes a shared list of 15 priority areas of cooperation and the terms of reference of this Joint Study.
An important objective of the Economic Framework was the reinforcement of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) as the central forum for regular, high-level dialogue between senior officials from both governments. Although the JEC was initially established under the 1976 Framework, Canada and Japan further clarified, in 2005, the JEC’s role as a strategic oversight mechanism charged with monitoring the economic relationship, identifying opportunities for expanding trade and investment, and addressing remaining challenges limiting the growth of bilateral trade and investment. The co-chairs of the JEC, designated at the deputy minister level, meet regularly to discuss traditional issues such as trade and investment irritants, as well as new measures to promote commercial ties and to establish strategic directions for the bilateral relationship.
With a view to focusing on forward-looking strategic priorities, the Economic Framework identifies a number of “priority areas of cooperation” involving policy dialogue, facilitation and promotion of trade and investment, and the promotion of cooperation across a wide range of fields. Fifteen initial areas were identified at the time of the signing of the Economic Framework: social security, anticompetitive activities, food safety, customs, trade facilitation, transportation, investment, science and technology, information and communication technology, e-commerce, e-government, energy and natural resources, climate change, tax convention, and tourism promotion. At the same time, the two governments recognize the importance of ensuring that these areas remain current, effective and relevant to Canadian and Japanese business. To this end, the Economic Framework provides for a Cooperative Working Group, which reports to the reinvigorated JEC, to oversee progress on the priority areas and to update the priorities as new areas of mutual interest arise.
Moreover, this Joint Study is an integral element of the Economic Framework. A Joint Study Working Group was established to carry out the Joint Study and report the findings to the Prime Ministers upon its completion within a 12-month time frame. In addition to examining the benefits and costs of the further promotion of trade and investment, the study includes an assessment of the implications of further bilateral trade and investment liberalization. With the recognition that bilateral commercial opportunities remain untapped, the Joint Study will be crucial in helping the two governments develop plans to ensure that the Canada-Japan economic relationship reaches its full potential.
The purpose of the Joint Study is stipulated in Attachment II of the Canada-Japan Economic Framework as follows:
The contents of each chapter are as follows:
Three meetings of the Joint Study Working Group were held between December 2005 and September 2006 in Canada and Japan (please see the attachment for the dates of these meetings and their participants). Through these three meetings, the Joint Study Working Group has deepened its recognition and understanding of the present Canada-Japan economic relationship, reaffirmed the cooperative relationship within the existing areas of cooperation, and examined ways to further strengthen the economic relationship.
While the signing of the Economic Framework in 2005 marked an important development in the Canada-Japan economic relationship, it is also worth recalling past initiatives that have contributed to the growth and strengthening of the bilateral economic relationship.
Today, regional economic integration and ongoing efforts toward further multilateral trade liberalization are key forces influencing the priorities and strategies of the world’s top trading nations, notably many countries in East Asia and North America. As active players in these regions, Canada and Japan are directly affected by increasing regional economic integration and share a strong interest in continuing to collaborate in a broad array of international forums, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the Group of Eight (G8) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). While both countries are firmly committed to multilateral and regional efforts to promote open and secure trade, Canada and Japan also recognize the important role that bilateral relationships can play in promoting the principles of free trade and in facilitating closer cooperation in multilateral and plurilateral settings.
Canada and Japan share a firm commitment to the rules-based multilateral trading system embodied in the WTO. As trading nations whose well-being depends on secure access to global markets, both countries believe that the WTO is the best forum in which to build a more open and equitable world trading system. The WTO also provides the best multilateral forum to advance commercial relationships with established and potential trading partners around the globe.
Both Canada and Japan remain committed to the WTO and to achieving an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive agreement on the Doha Development Agenda. Over the last few years, Canada and Japan have actively cooperated together across a number of areas in the negotiations in order to press for greater ambition. For example, both countries aim for an ambitious outcome in non-agricultural market access negotiations. Canada and Japan also share an interest in promoting an effective trade facilitation agreement, clarifying and improving WTO rules covering anti-dumping, subsidies and regional trade agreements, and cooperate in areas of mutual interest in the agriculture negotiations. On the services front, Canada and Japan cooperate within the “Quad” and the group of “Really Good Friends of Services,” as well as in a number of sector-specific groups, in order to encourage further liberalization of trade in services.
As significant players in the Doha Development Agenda ideas and proposals put forward by Canadian and Japanese representatives have been important in helping to build consensus across the negotiating groups. Canada and Japan will continue to work together in the negotiations in order to ensure an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive outcome.
Canada and Japan have also built strong ties through a variety of other forums. Dialogues in other international organizations and institutions support the work undertaken at the WTO, help build consensus on key issues and provide a platform for constructive debate on topics of interest to both countries.
As the premier forum for trans-Pacific economic discussion and cooperation, APEC is an important vehicle for promoting the prosperity and security of the Asia-Pacific region. A shared vision of an economically integrated region, along the lines of APEC’s long-term goal of free and open trade and investment, provides ample opportunities for Canada-Japan cooperation. The two partners work together on several issues of shared interest, including trade facilitation, structural reform, protection of intellectual property rights, secure trade and human security.
Trade facilitation has been an especially notable area of Canada-Japan cooperation in APEC in recent years, and APEC is specifically identified in the Canada-Japan Economic Framework as a forum in which the two countries will continue to work together to advance the work of the WTO Negotiating Group on Trade Facilitation. Through targeted, high-level statements, capacity building and its own program of individual and collective trade-facilitating actions in areas such as standards and conformance, and business mobility, APEC has achieved concrete reductions in trade-related transaction costs in Asia Pacific. These reductions have direct benefits for the private sector in Canada, Japan and the rest of the region.
A further area of Canada-Japan cooperation in APEC has been structural reform. Japan drafted the APEC Leaders’ Agenda to Implement Structural Reform (LAISR), adopted in 2004, in addition to the work plan toward LAISR 2010 in 2005. Canada, in turn, has emphasized the developmental benefits of certain types of structural reform by taking an active role with regard to public sector governance and by promoting a private sector development agenda for APEC.
Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Canada and Japan have supported the expansion of APEC’s agenda to confront the full range of challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region, with particular emphasis on security threats. Under the aegis of the Secure Trade in the APEC Region (STAR) initiative, both countries have provided extensive capacity building to APEC’s developing members and are planning further assistance in the future. Canada and Japan also support APEC’s work on non-traditional security issues, such as health and human security. Both countries recognize that human security is a fundamental prerequisite for the economic prosperity and progress to which APEC is devoted.
Canada and Japan share common views on best practices in the negotiation of high-quality free trade agreements (FTAs), economic partnership agreements (EPAs) and regional trade agreements (RTAs) through “Best Practices for RTAs/FTAs in APEC.”2 Both governments recognize that the success of any bilateral or regional trade agreement depends on the quality of the agreed provisions and the extent to which the agreement reflects the nature of the trade and investment relationship, while also recognizing areas of particular domestic sensitivity.
Beyond its natural role as a forum for regional discussions, APEC also presents excellent opportunities for individual economies to further their bilateral interests, as was exemplified by the signing of the Canada-Japan Economic Framework and the launch of this Joint Study on the margins of the APEC leaders meeting in 2005.
Canada and Japan share a deep commitment to democratic governance and a strong market economy, which are the central pillars of the OECD. As part of this commitment, both countries are actively engaged in various OECD committees that cover a broad array of subjects, including economic and social issues like macroeconomics, trade, investment, competition, education, development, and science and innovation. In addition, Canada and Japan are both active on energy issues through the 26-member International Energy Agency (IEA), an autonomous agency of the OECD wherein member countries share information, coordinate energy policies and develop energy programs.
Canada and Japan have worked together within the OECD to promote business and trade interests. Both countries have pushed for the OECD to increasingly engage with emerging global economic players. In addition, Japan has specifically expressed interest in collaborating with Canada in order to orient the Trade Committee’s 2007-08 Programme of Work and Budget toward a broader focus aimed at examining emerging issues and strengthening the multilateral trading system. Canada was very supportive of a horizontal project on services that was initially launched by Japan at the 2003 Ministerial (the conclusions of which were presented at the 2005 Ministerial). Japan consulted with Canada throughout the preparation of the detailed plan on this project, and Canada has been supportive of Japan’s efforts across the range of committees where this project was discussed.
As active members of the OECD, Canada and Japan are generally supportive of one another on broader institutional issues, including at the recent discussion at the 2007 Ministerial on OECD enlargement (five countries are to begin accession discussions) and enhanced engagement with global economic players, giving the OECD increased global relevance. Canada and Japan will continue to work closely together over the coming years on an agreement on financial reforms to ensure the OECD has a strong and sustainable financial foundation.
Canada and Japan have shared many common positions at G8 summits. Most recently, at the Heiligendamm Summit in 2007, leaders achieved a significant consensus in addressing the challenge of climate change. In particular, Canada and Japan’s decisions, which include at least a halving of global emissions by 2050, as well as those of the European Union (EU), are to be considered seriously for setting global goals. Canada and Japan voiced a common will to pursue commitments made toward Africa at previous G8 summits. Leaders also issued a declaration on growth and responsibility in the world economy, underlining, inter alia, the importance of:
One key result of the Summit was the launch of the Heiligendamm Process, wherein the G8, together with Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa, will engage in a sustained dialogue on four tracks – innovation and intellectual property rights (IPR), investment and corporate social responsibility, development, especially with regard to Africa, and energy efficiency and technology cooperation.
Previously, Canada and Japan have reaffirmed the importance of strengthening individual and collective efforts to combat piracy and counterfeiting and to elaborate concrete actions to combat IPR infringements. In addition, Japan proposed a possible international legal framework on preventing proliferation of pirated goods and counterfeits at the G8 Summit at Gleneagles in 2005. Canada supported the proposal that G8 IPR experts continue to study the international legal framework in the long and medium terms.
In addition, Canada and Japan have worked together at the G8 on issues such as science and technology for sustainable development, and more efficient use of resources and materials. Furthermore, climate change, energy efficiency and energy security are areas of particular importance to both Canada and Japan and were key focal points identified for further work in 2007. Increasing transparency, predictability and stability of global energy markets, improving investment conditions in the environment and energy sector, diversifying the energy mix and enhancing energy efficiency and energy saving, including the development and promotion of energy-efficient technologies, will be the key areas of future cooperation.
Canada and Japan have an excellent working relationship in the G7 Finance Ministers process. Of note is that Canada became an official member of the G7 Finance Ministers group in 1986 at the Tokyo Summit. Since then, both countries have worked together, along with other G7 partners, on a number of important issues, including crisis prevention and resolution tools following the 1997 Asian crisis, various development-related projects for Africa and countless financial sector initiatives.
Most recently, Canada and Japan have been working together under the Canada-Japan financial sector dialogue and on International Monetary Fund (IMF) quota reform, which determines a member’s voting power. Canada-Japan financial consultations occur every 18 to 24 months in Ottawa or Tokyo and allow for a broad discussion of current macroeconomic, financial sector and international financial issues. Meetings have proven to be a worthwhile means of keeping abreast of developments in our respective economies and providing a forum to discuss important bilateral financial sector issues, including financial services trade irritants.
IMF quota reform is also of particular importance given that the rapid economic growth of emerging markets over the last two decades has meant that their quota shares are considerably out of line with their economic weights in the global economy. Canada and Japan are working closely on this issue of quota reform in order to ensure that quota shares, especially those of the most dynamic members, many of which are emerging markets, better reflect relative weights and roles in the global economy.
As evidenced by their engagement in existing international organizations and institutions, both Canada and Japan are clearly committed to regional and multilateral cooperation as a means of increasing prosperity for their citizens and enhancing the overall security of global trade. While the multilateral trading system remains the centrepiece of the trade policy strategies of both countries, regional integration has become an important factor in setting priorities and identifying issues of interest to both Canada and Japan, such as the promotion of two-way investment and the negotiation of trade agreements and related initiatives with key strategic partners.
The diverse economies of East Asia and North America are leaders in international commerce, and interregional trade and investment between these two geographic epicentres continues to gather momentum. An increasingly important contributing factor is the overall globalization of production chains. Participation in such production networks can benefit partner countries by organizing trade links and providing access to technology flows. Global production networks are particularly complex for high-technology industries, which require a broad range of specialized inputs that can be sourced globally, either on an arm’s-length or intrafirm basis.
In the aerospace industry in 1995 there was a significant trans-Pacific element to the global value chains, with Japan serving as a mini-hub that feeds primarily into the U.S. aerospace industry. Canada was also linked into the U.S. hub and served as a mini-hub for regional aircraft, drawing on inputs from the United States and Europe. The organization of these global value chains varies across industrial sectors and is evolving rapidly. Participation in global value chains, which is important in sustaining the engagement of Canadian and Japanese firms in globalized industrial sectors and deepening trans-Pacific trade links, serves to enhance the respective competitive positions of both countries.
In addition to regional integration, the trans-Pacific dimension is becoming increasingly important, particularly in higher-value and technology-intensive areas such as aerospace. Fostering deeper trans-Pacific connections by facilitating economic integration between Canada and Japan across the full spectrum of activities that are subject to globalization will provide Canadian and Japanese firms – including producers of goods and services as well as knowledge – with new competitive advantages in maintaining and expanding their participation in global production networks.
In Asia, the implementation of regional production chains (or value chains) has been highly successful in large part due to the wide variation in the sophistication of production among many economies in Asia. As a consequence, regional production chains have been a leading driver of Asia’s economic growth and development and have attracted significant foreign direct investment from other areas of the world, including North America and Europe. Asian countries with a higher number of skilled workers and greater advancement in technology tend to enter the top of the value chain, providing the essential knowledge- and technology-intensive processes, such as research and development and advanced precision manufacturing. This type of contribution to the value chain is then complemented by production of more labour-intensive products by less developed countries. For example, while Japan provides much of the region’s research and development and is home to many of the region’s multinational enterprises, many other countries and regions, including Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Malaysia, produce sophisticated inputs and are responsible for an increasing share of product design. Countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam also contribute to these value chains through the supply of an abundance of low-cost labour and their specialization in the final assembly of products.
While increasing Asia’s regional integration, the global value chain phenomenon is also ensuring that Asia as a whole is more competitive globally. Overall, Asia’s share of world imports has increased from 14.7% in 1980 to 28.8% in 2004. As Asia’s largest economy, Japan is clearly a dominant player in global value chains. Japanese direct investment in its Asian neighbours and the proliferation of Japanese technology are central factors directing East Asian production and distribution networks. The vast majority (approximately 93% in 2004) of goods and services produced by Japanese affiliates in East Asia are traded within the region (50% to local markets, 22% to Japan and 21% to other countries in the region). In addition, these same Japanese affiliates source approximately 95% of their goods and services from the region3. China is also playing an increasingly influential role in all areas of Asian value chains, with more than two-thirds of Chinese imports currently being used as intermediate inputs in the production of exports. Most of these inputs come to China from its neighbours within the region and are then sent on to destinations outside of Asia, such as North America and Europe.
Given these developments, Asia’s global value chains and Japan’s role in the region are key considerations for Canadian business and government leaders. In addition to being a dominant force in global supply chains and Asia’s largest economy, Japan is also a key export market and source of foreign direct investment (FDI) for Canada. In light of the high integration of Japanese companies and the concentration of Japanese direct investment throughout Asia, Japan has the potential to play a valuable role as an entry point to East Asia for Canadian trade and investment.
From a business perspective, North America is one of the most highly integrated regions in the world. North Americans share increasingly integrated energy markets, service the same customers with an array of financial services, use the same roads and railroads to transport jointly made products to market, fly on the same integrated airline networks and increasingly meet the same or similar standards of professional practice. Canada and the United States have shared a similar political, economic, cultural and geographic heritage for the past two centuries, and this relationship continues to be reinforced through migration and immigration.
For the past 40 years, the two economies have become increasingly integrated, and the building of this integrated economy has been driven to a large degree by corporate perceptions of changes in global and national markets and environments. As Michael Hart indicates in a paper on Canada’s relationship with the United States: “Economic integration is a natural process flowing from the impact of billions of discrete and seemingly unrelated decisions. Policy, however, can smooth or hinder this process.”4 The Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force in 1989, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) established a rules-based framework to smooth such integration.
When it came into force in 1994, the NAFTA created the world’s largest free trade area, encompassing over 400 million people and almost $8 trillion in yearly production. The NAFTA united the economic futures of Canada, the United States and Mexico with a rules-based framework for the conduct of business in the region. In 2006, Canada exported $361 billion in goods to the United States and imported $257 billion in return. Services exports totalled $37 billion in 2006, with corresponding imports valued at $47 billion. Almost 76% of Canadian exports of goods and services are to the United States. On the other side, about 19% of U.S. exports are bound for Canada, and 38 states have Canada as their primary trading partner. Trade with Mexico has also increased significantly. Bilateral trade had grown by more than 300% since NAFTA to reach $20 billion in 2006. Mexico is Canada’s fifth most important export market, and Canada is Mexico’s second largest export market after the United States.
Like in Asia, improved market access has encouraged firms to rationalize production and become more specialized. Trade liberalization has resulted in a significant increase in intrafirm trade. It is estimated that over 34% of Canada-U.S. bilateral trade is intrafirm. In sectors ranging from beef to automobiles, products move back and forth across borders all along the value chain. Canada’s automotive industry does not merely rely on access to the U.S. market for sales (85% of all vehicles produced being exported to that market); the United States is also the major source of parts for vehicle production as well as finished vehicles for sale. Parts cross the border many times as they are transformed and built into larger assemblies that are ultimately combined into finished vehicles. In the cattle and beef sectors, Mexico exports feeder calves to the U.S. market and Canada exports slaughter cattle, feeder calves and breeding stock. The United States ships feeders, slaughter cattle and breeding stock to Canada and breeding stock to Mexico. Canada and the United States ship beef to each other as well as to Mexico. Some multinational agri-food companies are taking advantage of economies of scale, specialization and input cost competitiveness by concentrating production for the hemispheric market in selected plant locations in Canada and the United States.
According to some independent analyses,5 other Canadian manufacturing industries that are extensively integrated on a cross-border basis, and in which firms operate as if there were little or no border impediment to trade flows, are machinery manufacturing, computer and electronic product manufacturing, plastics and rubber product manufacturing, and electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing. Movements of direct and portfolio investment also clearly point to greater integration. U.S. direct investment in Canada increased to $274 billion in 2006, while Canadian direct investment in the United States grew to $224 billion in the same year. Canada is Mexico’s fifth most important investor (1993-2004) with $4.4 billion invested in 2006. Meanwhile, Mexican FDI to Canada reached $277 million in 2006.
As active trading nations in two of the world’s most highly integrated regions, Canada and Japan offer their trade and investment partners access to large and growing markets. Like Japan in Asia, Canada serves as an important access point to North America and, given its position as the largest trading partner of the United States, remains an unequalled point of entry into the world’s largest market.
As a complement to examining ongoing collaboration in existing multilateral and regional forums, Canada and Japan recognize the importance of considering further their respective approaches to key bilateral trade and investment negotiations and discussions with third countries. This section highlights key innovative initiatives that Canada and Japan have developed with third countries, including Canada’s free trade and investment protection agreements, Japan’s economic partnership agreements and investment treaties, and other initiatives such as joint studies and exploratory talks. While Canada and Japan have also concluded and/or signed a number of bilateral agreements with each other, including an air services agreement, social security agreement, a tax convention and various cooperation agreements in areas such as investment, competition, science and technology, and regulatory cooperation, these initiatives are addressed in greater depth elsewhere in this report .
As a trade-oriented and globally integrated economy, Canada benefits from an open, transparent and rules-based international trading system at the multilateral, regional and bilateral levels. Canada’s regional and bilateral trade initiatives are a means to secure markets for Canadian business, encouraging companies to expand into these markets and create jobs in Canada. While the WTO is the centrepiece of Canada’s trade policy, regional and bilateral initiatives are also important pillars. Bilateral trade agreements complement Canada’s objectives to improve and strengthen global trade rules. These agreements serve to stimulate the economy, provide innovative solutions to difficult trade and investment issues, and strengthen economic reforms. Canada has concluded FTAs with the United States, Mexico, Israel, Chile and Costa Rica, and, most recently, has concluded negotiations for an FTA with the European Free Trade Association countries (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein). Canada continues to recognize the merits of pursuing FTAs and other targeted policy instruments with priority trade and investment partners.
Canada has ongoing FTA negotiations with Singapore, Korea, the Andean Community countries of Colombia and Peru, the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and a group of four Central American countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua). Canada is also studying the feasibility of an FTA with Jordan. In addition to these initiatives, Canada established an Economic Framework with Japan to enhance bilateral economic relations and is working with the EU on a study to examine the costs and benefits of a closer economic partnership.
Canada’s FTAs typically follow the NAFTA model, although provisions can vary from one agreement to another so as to reflect developments in international trade law and policy since the NAFTA’s inception. For example, Canada has pursued a separate trade facilitation chapter in its most recent FTAs and in ongoing FTA negotiations. Such a chapter endeavours to promote enhanced transparency, predictability, due process, simplification, rapid release, a more efficient use of resources, and effective border control and enforcement – in part to help reduce business costs for all traders, an issue of particular interest to small and medium-sized enterprises.
The complete text of each of Canada’s FTAs is publicly available,6 including tariff elimination schedules, product-specific rules of origin, reservations, backgrounders and analytical pieces. Information, including statistics, relating to the examination of Canada’s FTAs by the WTO Committee on Regional Trade Agreements can be found on the WTO website.7
While Japan seeks to achieve economic growth by further strengthening the multilateral trading system as embodied in the WTO, Japan is taking the initiative in advancing economic partnerships with other countries in East Asia and other parts of the world as a means to complement the WTO multilateral trading system. Given the deep interdependence with its economic partners worldwide, Japan’s bilateral or regional efforts are placed not only in the aspect of trade in goods or services but also in a wide range of areas – or in other words, “WTO plus” – including investment, movement of natural persons, intellectual property and competition policy as well as cooperation. In this light, the bilateral and regional agreements of Japan are called economic partnership agreements (EPAs) rather than free trade agreements (FTAs).
In addition to the Economic Framework that Japan signed with Canada in 2005, Japan’s bilateral and regional efforts have continued to evolve. Japan concluded EPAs with Singapore, Mexico, Malaysia and Chile, which took effect in November 2002, April 2005, July 2006 and September 2007 respectively, and signed EPAs with the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei and Indonesia in September 2006, April 2007, June 2007 and August 2007 respectively. EPAs with Vietnam, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia and Switzerland are under negotiation. In parallel with those bilateral efforts, Japan has been conducting negotiations of an EPA with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a whole since April 2005 and an FTA covering trade in goods and services with Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) states since September 2006.
While serving to reinforce Canada’s bilateral relations, investment chapters in FTAs and international investment agreements are designed to assist Canadian firms in obtaining an optimum level of investment abroad, help lower their political risk, and reduce insurance and other attendant costs inherent in investing in emerging economies. The enhanced security that a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA)8 provides also contributes to the overall viability of Canadian companies trading and investing abroad.
In this vein, Canada’s FIPAs seek to ensure that Canadian investors abroad will not be treated any worse than similarly situated domestic investors or other foreign investors, will not have their investments expropriated without prompt and adequate compensation, and will not be subject to treatment lower than the minimum standard established in customary international law. In most circumstances, investors should also be free to invest capital and repatriate their investments and returns. Additionally, Canada’s policy is to promote and protect investment through a transparent rules-based system in a manner that reaffirms the right of governments to regulate in the public interest.
A new Canadian FIPA model was developed and finalized in 2004 that builds on the experiences Canada has gained through the implementation and operation of the NAFTA investment chapter. The principal objectives of developing a new model FIPA were to enhance clarity in the substantive obligations, maximize openness and transparency, balance state sovereignty with investment protection and discipline, and improve efficiency in the dispute settlement procedures. Canada has concluded 25 FIPAs in 18 years, most recently with India and Jordon. Canada is currently negotiating an investment agreement with China, and is engaged in negotiations to revise FIPAs already in force with six new and acceding member states to the EU.
For Japanese companies that are planning to extend – or that have already extended – their business activities abroad, it is very important to ensure their protection and the protection of their assets, together with legal stability and transparency of the relevant laws and regulations of the host countries (investing countries) under a binding framework. This will contribute to the reduction or relaxation of institutional risks that Japanese companies face in foreign countries.
In this regard, investment chapters in EPAs or bilateral investment treaties will play important roles to helping to protect Japanese companies and their assets. Such investment rules incorporate several important elements, which the Canadian side has already stressed the importance of, including treatment not less favourable to local companies or other foreign companies, the clarification of important matters concerned with expropriation and compensation, and the free transfer of investment capital or repatriation of investments. In addition, the transparency of the relevant restrictive laws and regulations and the maintenance of the restriction level will be pursued to the greatest extent possible. Japan signed an investment agreement with Cambodia in June 2007, and negotiations for bilateral investment agreements with Saudi Arabia and Laos and a tripartite investment agreement with China and Korea are ongoing.
Canada and Japan have long been important economic partners, with significant levels of two-way trade in goods and services, flows of direct and portfolio investment, flows of technology and ideas, and movement of people. Yet, for some time, the overall commercial relationship has underperformed and thus been overshadowed by dynamic growth in bilateral relations with other economic partners.
One contributing factor was the long period of slower growth in Japan following the bursting of the “bubble” economy in the early 1990s, which culminated in the recession of the late 1990s and the Asian economic and financial crisis. A second factor was the strength of the regional dynamic in both North America and East Asia. Intraregional trade and investment growth in these regions outpaced the expansion of trans-Pacific commerce, resulting in a relative decline in the weight of the latter.
Japan’s economic recovery is now strengthening. At the same time, Canada is seeking new opportunities to increase its prosperity by strengthening international linkages. The overall economic relationship between Canada and Japan is thus in a position to move forward more strongly than it has in the recent past.
Canada and Japan are both mature, industrialized economies that rank amongst the world’s largest. Japan’s economy was 3.4 times larger than Canada’s in 2006. This largely reflects different population sizes. Per capita income in Canada in 2006 was 2.1% lower than in Japan, measured in common currency at current market exchange rates. In terms of purchasing power parity, however, Canada’s per capita income was 6.7% higher than Japan’s per capita income in 2005, reflecting the fact that Japan’s prices were somewhat higher on average than Canada’s (See Table 3.1).
Japan’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2006 was ¥507,693 billion (approximately $4,952 billion), the second highest in the world after the United States. During that same year, Canada’s GDP registered $1,439 billion (approximately ¥148,132 billion), placing it eighth in the world ranking. In both economies, services account for the largest share of GDP. Manufacturing and other industrial activity accounts for roughly one-quarter of GDP while the primary sectors (agriculture, forestry, fishing, and mining and energy extraction) account for only a small share of overall economic activity. The primary sectors are relatively more important in Canada’s economy than in Japan’s.
Both economies are deeply engaged in the global economy; that being said, Canada’s exports of goods and services as a share of GDP in 2006 stood at 36.4%, which is substantially higher than Japan’s at 16.1%.
Both economies are in the midst of cyclical recoveries. In Japan’s case, the economic expansion since 2002 represents the strongest sustained growth since the bursting of Japan’s “bubble” economy at the beginning of the 1990s. In Canada’s case, the economy recorded its 15th consecutive year of growth in 2006.
|In current USD billions at market exchange rates||US$1,269||US$4,365|
|In CAD billions at market exchange rates||$1,439||$4,952|
|In JPY billions at market exchange rates||¥148,132||¥507,693|
|Population, 2006 (millions)||32.85||127.7|
|In current USD at market exchange rates||US$38,440||US$35,137|
|In CAD at market exchange rates||$43,595||$39,859|
|In JPY at market exchange rates||¥4,469,907||¥4,088,000|
|Per capita income at purchasing power parity, 2005 (Japan = 100)||106.7||100.0|
|GDP growth, 2001-06 (average; constant prices)||2.5%||1.5%|
|Exports of goods and services as share of GDP||36.4%||16.1%|
|Imports of goods and services as share of GDP||34.1%||14.9%|
Sources: International Monetary Fund, International Financial Statistics, CD-ROM, for GDP, GNI, population and bilateral Yen/USD and CAD/USD exchange rates.
Purchasing power parity data from the World Bank, World Development Report 2006, Table 1. Statistics Canada for trade data; trade data are on a balance of payments basis; Bank of Canada for the annual average exchange rate used to convert Canadian dollar data into Japanese yen data. The breakdown of GDP shares is based on the Canadian classification. (Japanese primary sectors include agriculture, forestry and fishing. Secondary sectors include mining, manufacturing and construction. The Tertiary is the rest.)
The Canada-Japan trade relationship peaked in terms of relative importance in 1989; in that year, Japan accounted for 5.7% of Canada’s two-way trade in goods and services, while Canada accounted for 3.2% of Japan’s two-way trade in goods and services.
Since then, the value of two-way trade has grown but at a slow pace. According to Canadian statistics, two-way trade in goods and services grew from $19.3 billion in 1989 to $27 billion in 2006, a gain of 40.6%, or 2.0% per year. According to Japanese statistics, two-way trade has been flat at ¥2,122 billion in 1989 and ¥2,277 billion in 2006, fluctuating around ¥2,000 billion for the past 10 years. (Canada’s and Japan’s trade statistics have different standards, such as with respect to how to calculate shipments through third countries, which is reflected in the disparity in the data.)
In the 1990s, the relative importance of Canada-Japan bilateral trade fell more or less steadily, reflecting on the one hand the influence of economic slowdown and recession in Japan, and on the other hand the increase in the U.S. share of Canada’s trade due to the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and its successor, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Since 2000, the relative importance of the trading relationship has continued to decline, but at a much slower pace. During this latter period, the main factor has been the rise in importance of China in both Canadian and Japanese trade.
In 2006, Canada was Japan’s 15th largest trading partner in terms of two-way trade in goods and services (balance of payments basis). On the same basis, Japan was Canada’s third largest trading partner in terms of two-way trade in goods and services.
Trade in goods between Canada and Japan appears to be largely complementary, with each specializing in products that the other does not intensively export (See Tables 3.2 and 3.3).
Canada is one of the world’s leading exporters of primary goods (e.g., agricultural, forestry and fisheries products) and natural resources, such as energy, metal and mineral products. Recently, agricultural, forestry and fisheries products have accounted for about 44.6% of Japan’s imports from Canada. However, Canada’s trade with Japan is slowly evolving toward higher value-added products. For example, the share of Japanese imports from Canada accounted for by higher-technology products such as pharmaceuticals, aerospace, machinery and equipment and consumer goods has risen from 4.5% in 1994 to 9.5% in 2006. The pattern of Canada-Japan trade is likely to continue to evolve in this direction in the future.
|HS||Description||CAD millions||JPY millions||Share of total (%)|
|26||Ores, slag, ash||1,434||146,994||13.1|
|27||Mineral fuel, oil, etc.||1,194||122,440||11.0|
|12||Misc grain, seed, fruit||974||99,821||8.9|
|47||Wood pulp, Etc.||544||55,811||5.0|
|03||Fish & seafood||471||48,319||4.3|
|Total, all sectors||10,907||1,118,372||100|
Source: World Trade Atlas.
Manufactured goods dominate Canada’s imports from Japan. Automobiles and automotive parts, machinery and machinery parts, and electrical machinery and electrical machinery parts accounted for 76.6% of the total value of Canadian imports from Japan in 2006.
|HS||Description||CAD millions||JPY millions||Share of total (%)|
|87||Motor vehicles, trailers, bicycles, motorcycles and other similar vehicles||6,681||685,052||43.5|
|84||Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances||3,012||308,877||19.6|
|85||Electrical or electronic machinery and equipment||2,055||210,719||13.4|
|90||Optical, medical, photographic, scientific and technical instruments||787||80,695||5.1|
|88||Aircraft and spacecraft||445||45,636||2.9|
|72||Iron and steel||136||13,905||0.9|
|Total, all sectors||15,346||1,573,457||100|
Source: World Trade Atlas.
Trade in commercial services between Canada and Japan is becoming an increasingly important part of the bilateral trading relationship. In 2006, two-way services trade amounted to ¥490 billion ($4.8 billion), accounting for 17.6% of total bilateral trade in goods and services, compared with only 8.8% in 1990.
Travel services play an important role in Canada’s cross-border services exports to Japan, comprising $543 million in 2006 (compared with transportation services at $512 million, commercial services at $398 million and government services at $34 million), according to Canada’s statistics (See Table 3.4).
Source: Statistics Canada, "Balance of International Payments: Canada with Japan," CANSIM Database
In the area of commercial services, the largest segment of Canada’s cross-border services exports to Japan is with respect to royalties and licence fees. However, computer and information services; professional services, such as engineering and architecture; advertising and related services; and other business services also represent a significant proportion of Canada’s commercial services exports. Financial services also represent an important sector in Canada’s services trade with Japan. However, the majority of Canada’s financial services exports are transacted through commercial presence rather than on a cross-border basis and do not, therefore, figure prominently in cross-border trade statistics.
Commercial services also represent the largest segment of Japan’s total cross-border services exports to Canada, comprising ¥251 billion in 2006. According to Japanese statistics, royalties and licence fees represent an extremely high proportion within this segment. Financial services, management services, audiovisual services and other business services represent other importat sectors in the area of commercial services. Travel services represented ¥19 billion, transport services ¥56 billion and government services ¥1.0 billion in 2006.
The value of foreign direct investment (FDI) has in the past been such that FDI flows and stocks from Japan to Canada have tended to be larger than investment in the other direction, although FDI stocks from Canada to Japan exceeded FDI stocks from Japan to Canada in 2002. While FDI stocks from Japan to Canada have been a growth trend recently, FDI stocks from Canada to Japan have been falling since 2002, when the FDI stocks were at their peak.
The compound annual growth rate in the value of direct investment (stocks) from Japan to other countries since 1996 has been 5.7%, while the growth rate in the value of direct investment from Japan to Canada has been 6.8%. On the other hand, whereas the growth rate in the value of direct investment (stocks) from foreign countries to Japan has been 13.7%, the average annual growth rate in the value of direct investment from Canada to Japan has been 15.1%.10
Direct investment from Japan to Canada in 2006 was US$6,818 million (equivalent to approximately 1.5% of Japan’s direct investment position abroad), while direct investment from Canada to Japan was US$2,284 million (equivalent to approximately 2.1% of Japan’s inward direct investment position). From Japan’s perspective, although the total value of inward direct investment is low, Canada is an important source of investment in Japan. The scale of its investment is, however, by no means large (see Table 3.5).
|Million US$||1996 Value||1996 %||2006 Value||2006 %|
|Rest of the world (ROW)||6,771||22.6||23,765||22.1|
|Million US$||1996 Value||1996 %||2006 Value||2006 %|
Source: Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
|Region||1990 Value||1990 %||2000 Value||2000 %|
|Rest of the world (ROW)||10,098||7.7||45,479||10.1|
|Region||1990 Value||1990 %||2000 Value||2000 %|
Source: Statistics Canada, “Canada’s International Investment Position.”
While the geographic distribution of FDI in Canada remained relatively stable over the past decade, with the United States dominating, there have been noticeable changes in the pattern of Canadian investment abroad. Canadians diversified their investment, making more investment in many parts of the world than in the traditional U.S. market. Between 1990 and 2006, the share of the United States in total Canadian investment abroad declined from 61.0% to 42.8%, while the corresponding shares for the “rest of the world” – mainly developing countries – increased from 17.1% to 28.7% over the same period (see Table 3.6).
According to Canadian statistics, Canada’s direct investment position in Japan in 2006 was $4.9 billion (equivalent to 0.9% of Canada’s direct investment abroad, up from $507 million or 0.6% of Canada’s overall FDI in 1989). In 2006, Japan was Canada’s 15th largest destination for direct investment.
On the other hand, Japan’s direct investment position in Canada in 2006 was $11.3 billion (equivalent to 2.5% of total direct investment in Canada from overseas), making Japan Canada’s sixth largest source of direct investment. Looking at changes in Japan’s investment position in Canada, the total stock has doubled since 1989, although Japan’s share of total foreign investment in Canada has fallen from 4.0%.
Direct investment from Japan to Canada is directed primarily toward the manufacturing industries but also toward commerce and trade, and the financial and insurance industries. According to a survey by the Embassy and Consulates Generals of Japan in Canada, more than 600 subsidiaries and affiliates of Japanese companies were operating in Canada in 2006.
More Japanese companies are starting to focus on Canada as an investment destination in order to gain access to the North American market, while taking advantage of factors such as lower operating costs in Canada compared to the United States. The growing number of mergers and acquisitions by Japanese companies is also certain to have an impact on investment in Canada. Similarly, Canadian companies often invest in Japan to gain access not only to Japan but to the whole Asian market through the incorporation of their products into exported Japanese goods and services.
The automotive sector in Canada is one with a particularly significant Japanese presence, with Toyota, Honda, Hino and Suzuki (CAMI GM-Suzuki) all producing vehicles in Canada. Toyota, Honda and Hino, along with several Japanese Tier 1 suppliers,11 have recently announced new greenfield investments to increase their production in Canada. According to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), Japanese automotive companies in Canada employ over 62,000 people, directly and indirectly, in fields ranging from vehicle and parts manufacturing, to head offices and dealerships.
Japanese investment goes well beyond the automotive sector, with over 600 Japanese companies present in Canada. There has recently been renewed interest by Japanese companies in Canada’s natural resources sector, as well as agri-food, and information and communications technologies. This is evidenced by recent investments by companies such as Itochu Canada Ltd. in coal mining, Nisshin Seifun Group’s building of a second flour mill, and Cybird’s investment into Montreal’s Airborne Entertainment, a cellular phone content developer.
Over 100 Canadian companies have established a commercial presence in Japan. Nearly half of these are engaged in the information and communications technologies (ICT) sector, Celestica among them, often as Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers. Canadian service companies are also present in a number of sectors, including the transport and financial services sectors. Manulife Insurance, in particular, has significant investments in the financial sector. In the automotive sector, Canadian parts suppliers Magna and ABC Group are expanding their operations and working closely with Japanese automobile manufacturers in order to supply parts to assembly plants located throughout the world.
Examples such as these show the crucial role that investment plays in the context of the economic relationship between Canada and Japan. Investment is responsible not only for creating a significant number of jobs, but also for enabling the large amount of trade between the two countries.
1 Note that “Canada-Japan” and “Japan-Canada” are used interchangeably in this report.
3 Fukunari Kimura and Mitsuyo Ando, “The Economic Analysis of International Production/Distribution Networks in East Asia and Latin America: The Implication of Regional Trade Arrangements,” Faculty of Economics, Keio University, Tokyo, May 2004, pp. 13-14.
4 Michael Hart, “Canada, the United States and Deepening Economic Integration: Next Steps,” North American Linkages: Opportunities and Challenges for Canada (Calgary: University of Calgary Press), 2003, p. 429.
5 Dr. Tim O’Neil, Chief Economist, Bank of Montreal, “North American Economic Integration and Its Applications to Canadian Banks,” BMO Financial Group, Economics Department, 2002.
8 The FIPA is Canada’s investment treaty model, which also forms the basis of Canada’s FTA investment chapters.
9 Statistics on trade in services often underestimate the total volume of services trade taking place, particularly since services statistics typically only measure cross-border services trade and do not take into account other modes of services supply, namely consumption abroad, commercial presence and temporary movement of natural persons. In some sectors, these other modes of services supply may comprise a much higher volume of total trade than cross-border supply. As a consequence, accurate measures of Canada’s and Japan’s respective trade performances in the area of services are often difficult to obtain, especially at the disaggregate level.
11 A Tier 1 supplier is a supplier under direct contract to manufacturers.