V4-Japan format increasingly active, Polish PM says at summit

Apart from Morawiecki, the meeting was attended by Slovak PM Peter Pellegrini, Czech PM Andrej Babis, Hungarian Deputy PM Mihaly Varga and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe. Leszek Szymański/PAP

The relations between the regional Visegrad Group (V4) and Japan have been strengthening along with plans for increased trade and mutual investments, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki said at the third V4-Japan summit in Bratislava on Thursday.

Apart from Morawiecki, the meeting was attended by Slovak PM Peter Pellegrini, Czech PM Andrej Babis, Hungarian Deputy PM Mihaly Varga and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.

The V4 comprises the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

At a joint press conference, the Polish PM said he saw "growing dynamics of the V4-Japan format" as well as a "growing appetite for trade and mutual investments."

"In this context we welcomed an economic partnership agreement that went into effect a few months ago," Morawiecki said.

When the agreement is fully implemented, Japan will lift duties on 97 percent of goods imported from the EU. The deal also removes a range of non-tariff barriers.

Morawiecki also pointed to a considerable number of Japanese investments in Central Europe, but he noted that it was not equally easy for European companies to enter the Japanese market, or Asian markets in general.

The Polish PM also announced plans for economic missions to Japan and Poland.

Morawiecki stressed the growing importance of Central European countries in the EU's architecture.