By Etsuo Kono / Japan News Staff Writer Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Etienne Schneider expressed his positive view about the possibility of a final conclusion in economic partnership agreement talks between Japan and the European Union by the end of this year in an interview with The Japan News in Tokyo on Nov. 28.
“I am quite positive, I am quite convinced that this will happen soon,” Schneider said.
Japan and the EU reached a broad agreement in the EPA talks in July.
Regarding the ratification procedure for the EPA, he also stressed, “The ratification for this treaty will only be done by the European Parliament, so that makes it much easier [than ratification by individual European countries] and the idea is still to have this ratification for the end of next year [before the European Parliament election].”
After Britain chose to leave the EU, major financial companies announced they would move their European offices to Luxembourg.
“Foreign companies need to find a way to access the EU single market. Luxembourg can be a part of the solution,” said Luxembourg’s Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna, who attended the interview.