Some have also argued that all these bilateral free trade agreements undermine the multilateral trading system. Again, I tend to disagree. In-depth and comprehensive free trade agreements that go beyond the current WTO regulatory framework, such as investment, public procurement, competition, etc., will build on WTO disciplines and support the system. I agree that shallow tariff agreements would have the opposite effect. But that is not what we are doing with Japan: we have agreed together to negotiate precisely the kind of ambitious and comprehensive free trade agreement that will support and complement the multilateral system. Our impact assessment predicts that an ambitious free trade agreement between the EU and Japan could increase our GDP by 0.8%. This is not insignificant. But I underestimate that it is the ambitious word that is the key. A superficial agreement that does not remove regulatory barriers will not lead us to that. the protection agreement and the legal process that underlie it allow the institution to recognize the value of protection within a reasonable time. These figures show that negotiating the free trade agreement will not be easy.
I am under no illusions about that. And achieving a good result, that is, concluding a comprehensive free trade agreement comprising a wide range of issues such as services, investment, public procurement, intellectual property rights and regulation, cannot be taken for granted, but requires constant and total commitment and determination at the highest political level. And although the EU-Japan summit has unfortunately been cancelled, I am pleased that a phone call will be made on Thursday between Presidents Barroso and Van Rompuy to start negotiations for a free trade agreement. Y or, the business world, which will benefit from the final agreement, has a crucial role to play. First of all, it is up to you, as negotiators, what the problems are on the ground and what needs to be addressed in the negotiations. And your contribution has already been very valuable in the definition of roadmaps. in the event of a rating outlook, the time horizon during which a change in the credit expectation is expected. Let me begin by thanking you for the kind invitation from the European Economic Council and Keidanren. This initiative is a welcome sign that relations between the EU and Japan are not limited to official contacts, but are essential at all levels.
You have worked tirelessly to bring the EU and Japan closer together, and I can only thank you for your commitment and efforts. This approach to economic openness and free trade is a very important common element that we share with Japan. Since the beginning of the crisis, we have seen protectionist measures around the world, often in the form of industrial policies, but also in terms of simply raising tariffs or other types of more explicit trade barriers.