METI task force aims to help small firms capitalize on TPP deal


The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry set up Thursday a task force to promote measures to help small and midsize companies capitalize on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.

At the first meeting of the team, headed by METI Minister Motoo Hayashi, members agreed to have such companies well informed about the TPP deal, on which a broad accord was reached just recently, and start holding briefings for them as early as this month.

The briefings will be held in all 47 prefectures as well as in the other 11 countries participating in the TPP, including the United States.

The task force also plans to promote alliances between the farming, commerce and industrial sectors to create new businesses in cooperation with the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry.

As a measure to encourage overseas expansion by small firms that are unfamiliar with export procedures, the team will tell them how to draw up on their own nontariff or tariff-reduction certificates for their goods required under the TPP pact.

At the day’s meeting, Hayashi said pushing exports is “the biggest job” of his ministry.