The EU-Japan EPA Forum & Round Table Series speakers are selected for their expertise and ability to make valuable contributions to the programme. These individuals represent some of the key figures engaged in business with Europe and Japan, including senior policy-makers and business executives.

Please contact the organisers for info on the early confirmed speakers for the 2nd EU-japan EPA Forum in Milan on May 16-17, 2019.

At the 1st EU-Japan EPA Forum, addresses were given by;


Mr Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan


Mrs Cecilia MalMström, The EU Trade COMMISSIONER, THE European union

Cecilia Malmström has served as European Commissioner for Trade since 2014, having previously served as European Commissioner for Home Affairs from 2010 to 2014. In her current position, she represents the EU in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other international trade fora.

Cecilia Malmström is responsible for negotiating bilateral trade agreements with key countries, including the recently concluded agreements with Japan, Canada and Singapore, and for ongoing negotiations with for example, Chile and the Mercosur countries.

Prior to her appointment as a Commissioner, she served as a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2006, and as Swedish Minister for European Union Affairs 2006–2010. She is a member of the Liberal People’s Party, which is represented by the A.L.D.E. in the European Parliament.

Cecilia Malmström holds a Ph.D. in Political Science, Department of Political Science from Göteborg University.


Mr Yoichi SUZUKI, FORMER Ambassador for International Economic Affairs & CHIEF NEGOTIATOR OF THE EPA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Yoichi Suzuki recently relinquished his duties as Japan’s Chief negotiator on the Japan-EU EPA, Representative of the Government of Japan and Ambassador for International Economic Affairs which started in March 2017. He joined the Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairsin 1975.

He was Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the WTO in Geneva, Deputy Director General, Economic Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Consul General of Japan in Boston, Director-General, Economic Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan’s G8 Foreign Affairs Sous Sherpa, Ambassador to Singapore and

Ambassador to France. He has a long experience in international trade negotiations both multilateral and regional. He led the Japan’s Free Trade Agreement negotiations with Malaysia and Thailand among others. Mr. Suzuki chaired the Regular Committee on Agriculture of WTO and the OECD Trade Committee. He also sat on WTO Dispute Settlement Panel

He received a law degree, LL.B, from Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo and also is a graduate of Ecole Nationale d’Administration of France (MA in Public Administration). He has taught briefly at the Institut National des Langues et Civilizations Orientales, Paris. He has published a series of articles on WTO negotiations in the journal “Gaiko Forum” and reviews of the International Economic Law Association of Japan.

He was given the French decoration ‘National Order of the Legion of Honour-Commander (L'ordre national de la légion d'honneur –Commandeur)’ in 2016.


Mr Marco Chirullo, EU's Deputy ChiEf Negotiator of the EPA, European Commission

Marco Chirullo is the Deputy Chief Negotiator of the EU-Japan EPA. He is also deputy head of the unit responsible for  trade relations with Far East Asia, including China, Korea and Japan. He was previously posted at the EU mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, where he was in charge of the negotiations of the coverage expansion of the Information Technology Agreement ("ITA2"), which he finalised in December 2015. Before that, he served in Brasilia at the EU delegation, where he followed EU-Brazil and EU-Mercosur trade relations. Marco Chirullo holds a Master degree on European integration at the College of Europe in Bruges and a Post-graduate degree on International Trade from the Université Libre De bruxelles (ULB) and the Ecole de Commerce de Solvay. Italian and French national, he also speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese.


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Mr Chris Clague, Managing Editor, Asia & Global Editorial Lead, Trade and Globalisation, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)

Chris is a Managing Editor with the Thought Leadership and Content Solutions team, having moved over from the EIU’s consulting practice. He is also the Global Editorial Lead for the trade and globalisation practice.   

He provides regular commentary to a variety of media outlets on trade and the global economy and he is based in Tokyo. 

Before joining the EIU, Chris worked at a boutique consulting firm that specialized in food and agriculture and international trade policy. Since joining the EIU, he has managed a variety of projects, including the future of ICT supply chains, an index measuring the relative safety of 50 major cities, and on sustainable trade. He also was the editor and project manager for the EIU/Nikkei BP joint publication, The World to 2050, which forecast the impact of economic, social, political, and technological megatrends over the next 30-plus years.    

Chris has a certificate in International Trade Law and Economics from the World Trade Institute in Switzerland, along with an MSc in Asian Politics from London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, where he specialized in the politics and economics of the Korean peninsula.

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Mr Dirk Albersmeier, Managing Director & Co-head of M&A EMEA, J.P. Morgan

Dirk Albersmeier is Managing Director & Co-Head of J.P. Morgan's M&A business in Europe, Middle East and Africa. 

Dirk joined J.P. Morgan’s Equity Capital Markets Team in 1997 from Salomon Brothers where he held senior roles in London and New York. He began his career at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson in London. Until the end of 1999, Dirk was responsible for the execution of all of J.P. Morgan’s German and Swiss equity transactions. From 2000-2004, he was a senior member of the European M&A team in London and was appointed Head of the firm’s M&A Advisory business in Germany and Austria in 2004, advising over 50 successful transactions with a total transaction value of over $175bn. 

During his career at J.P. Morgan Dirk has advised on mergers for some of the world’s top companies including Bain Capital / Cinven's €5.3bn take-private of STADA Arzneimittel AG, United Internet AG's €8.85bn merger with Drillisch AG, NN Group's €2.5bn bid for Delta Lloyd and T-Mobile UK and Orange UK's €11.3bn joint venture €11.3bn (2009) 

Dirk holds a Dipl. Betriebswirt from ESB Reutlingen and a B.A. (Hons.) European Business Administration from MUBS London. He speaks fluent German and English.

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Mr Jean-Pierre Stainnack, Senior Vice President, Airbus

Jean-Pierre Stainnack joined Airbus in 1987 as a financial analyst. He moved to Airbus North America in 1992 as a Contracts Director covering major US customers of Airbus. He returned to Airbus HQ in late 1996 to head the Contracts team for China, Hong Kong and Australasia. 

In 2001, he joined the Leasing Markets group as Senior Director – Commercial, running the contracts team and coordinating the activities of leasing companies with Airbus in major campaigns. 

In 2007 he was promoted to Vice-President Pricing. In 2009, he became Vice President Sales Operations for Africa, Japan, India and South Asia. 

In 2011, he was promoted to Senior Vice President Commercial Japan where, leading the Airbus Japan sales team, he engineered a major push in the Japanese market, with wins with the LCCs (Peach, Vanilla, Jetstar Japan), Japan Airlines (A350XWB) and ANA (A320/A321NEO and A380). 

Jean-Pierre holds a MBA from Nicholls State University, a Masters of Economics from the Université des Sciences Sociales in Toulouse and is a graduate of the Toulouse Business School. 

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Mr Rikard af Ekenstam, Head of Nordic Region, Mizuho BANK

Rikard is responsible for building up Mizuho Commercial and Investment Banking business in the Nordic Region. He has 20 years of experience working in the financial industry having worked as Head of Moody's Analytics Knowledge Services in Europe, prior to which he was responsible for the Commercial and Investment Banking business of ABN AMRO in some 20 counties across the CEEMEA region. 

Rikard started his career at Flemings (now part of JP Morgan)  M&A Advisory team. He has a Joint MA (Hons) in Economics and Management from the University of St Andrews. 



mr Ole Mølskov Bech, Senior Vice President, Japan and Korea, Novo Nordisk

Dr Ole Mølskov Bech is currently the Senior Vice President, Japan and Korea. During his over 25 years tenure with Novo Nordisk, Dr Mølskov Bech has held numerous management positions, most recently as Corporate Vice President of Novo Nordisk’s Business Area Near East (BANE), which includes Iran. He has broad international experience and worked in the Asia Pacific region for a 10-year period from 2002–2012 on Novo Nordisk’s expansion of its clinical development activities in China.

Dr Mølskov Bech graduated from the Medical Faculty, University of Copenhagen in 1985. In 2002, Dr Mølskov Bech obtained an eMBA from the Scandinavian International Management Institute, Copenhagen.

Dr Mølskov Bech has published more than 30 papers and abstracts and has held lectures in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.


mr David Jaunch, Director for Government Relations, Fresenius Kabi 

David Jauch is responsible for Government Relations of Fresenius Kabi. He is the Chair of the Trade Policy Committee, Member of the Board of Medicines for Europe as well as a member of several other Committees of Medicines for Europe. Also, David is a member of the regulatory committee of the German Pharmaceutical Industry Association (BPI) and the trade and ip committee of the International Generics and Biosimilar Association.

Studies in Business at the University of Stuttgart in Germany, Tongji University in China and Seoul National University in Korea and executive master at Leeds University Business School, UK.

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Mr Masato Yamada, Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind 

Mr Yamada is a founding member of the Board of Management of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind. In his current role he is responsible for the company’s strategy office which covers corporate strategy, public affairs, communications and marketing. 

After a 25 year career with MHI in the Energy Sector, having worked with steam turbines, boilers, gas turbines and wind turbines, Mr Yamada led MHI’s pre-joint venture discussions with Vestas. He played a pivotal role in bringing MHI Vestas to life. 

Since starting at MHI Vestas, Mr Yamada has not only developed the company’s overall strategy for its core European markets, he also is playing an active role in developing the offshore wind market and industry in Japan through close collaboration with Japanese governmental authorities. 

Mr Yamada is helping to bridge Japanese industry and European industry to ensure reliable and competitive offshore wind power both in Europe and Japan with a broad network and deep insight into both cultures.



mr Takehiko Matsuo, Director General for Trade Policy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan (METI)

Takehiko Matsuo is Director General for Trade Policy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) since 2017. He joined the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (currently the METI) in 1989. He was Counsellor for Permanent Delegation of Japan to the OECD, Director Electricity Market Division in the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE), Counsellor for Cabinet Secretariat, Director for Environmental Policy Division in METI, Director for Budget and Accounts Division, Director for General Policy Division in ANRE, and Secretary General for Electricity and Gas Market Surveillance Commission in METI. He also has experience working for international organization such as Special Adviser to the Executive Director in IEA.

He received a Bachelor of laws from University of Tokyo and also a Master’s degree in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University.

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Mr Shinya Kukita, Chief Engineer, Global Business Unit, NEC Corporation

Shinya KUKITA received his B.E. degree in electrical engineering from Tokyo University in 1981. After he joined NEC Corporation in 1981, he engaged in the development of various Optical Transport system and Network Management System.

Currently he is responsible for establishing the business and technical strategies for the international market regarding Cloud Computing, Software Defined Networking, AI(Artificial Intelligence), IoT(Internet of things) and Smart City.

He is a regular speaker in various international conferences.

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Mr Ulf Pehrsson, Vice President, Head of Government and Industry Relations, Ericsson

Mr. Pehrsson is responsible for Telecom, Regulatory & Trade Policy at Ericsson. 

Leveraging over thirty years of experience in government and telecommunication, Mr. Pehrsson is the architect of the company’s strategic focus on developing strong ties to Governments and Regulators around the world. 

Prior to joining Ericsson, Mr. Pehrsson served as the Deputy Director-General, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA), Director, Ministry for Industry and Trade working primarily in the trade policy, trade & investment promotion and EU Single Market fields as well as represented the Swedish government at various embassies around the world. 

Currently Mr. Pehrsson is on the board of a number of organizations such as the Swedish Foreign Trade Association (Chairman), DigitalEurope, the Swedish IT and Telecom Industries, the International Council of Swedish Industry - NIR, the Stockholm China Economic Research Institute - SCERI and the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (Chairman). He is also Vice-chair of the Trade & Investment Commission of the International Chamber of Commerce - ICC, and Chair of the Digital Economy Policy Committee as well as the Trade & Investment Policy Committee of ICC Sweden.


Mr Peter Struik, Executive Director Fujifilm GmbH

Mr. Peter Struik has almost 30 years experience in Fujifilm.In his current role Peter Struik is responsible for (optimising)staff operations throughout Europe. In previous functions he was responsible for (optimising) the European supply chain and was responsiblefor the largest Fujifilm production plant in Europe in the Netherlandsafter having different functions in R&D, Procurement and  Engineering.

Mr Struik holds ha a Masters degree in Aerospace Engineering from Delft University of Technology.

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Christian ALGREEN-USSING, Managing Director, alstom

Christian Algreen-Ussing has served as an Executive within the International Transport- & Energy Sector in more than 12 years.

Since 2011 has been building and delivering Alstom business through international and national partnerships. Key focus is to enhance a competitive position with respect to the European Procurement framework.
Among various positions is he Board Member of Confederation of Danish Industries, Transport Sector. He received Science in Economics and Business Administration degree’s from Aarhus University, later went through International corporate training. In the 90’s received he an international instructors education in Japan from Hosei University. 

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Prof. Dr. Gabriel Felbermayr is Director of the Ifo Center for International Economics at the Ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich, Germany. Simultaneously, he holds a chair in Economics at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich.

Felbermayr was awarded several prices for his research which deals with international trade agreements, trade and labor market outcomes, trade and environment. 

Since 2011, he holds both a position as Director International Economics at the Ifo Institute and as Professor of Economics, esp. International Economics, at the Department of Economics of Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. Before that, he was Professor at the University of Hohenheim (near Stuttgart, Germany (2009-2011)), Assistant Professor at the University of Tübingen, Germany (2005-2009), worked as an Associate Consultant for McKinsey & Co. in Vienna, Austria (2004-2005), and was an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Economics at Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria. 

Gabriel Felbermayr has various roles and positions. The most important are: Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, Associate Editor European Economic Review; Associate Editor, International Review of Economics and Finance; Scientific Advisory Board, Institute for Applied Economic Research, Tübingen; External Research Fellow, Leverhulme Centre for Research on Globalization and Economic Policy (GEP), University of Nottingham. 

Click for further details and publications


Mrs Ivonne Julitta Bollow, Director International Affairs for Corporate Communications and Public Policy, METRO AG

Ivonne Julitta Bollow is Director International Affairs for Corporate Communications and Public Policy at METRO AG. In this position, she represents the interests of the company and its sales branches like e.g. METRO/ MAKRO Cash & Carry in 35 markets in Eastern and Western Europe, Asia and the MENA region and supports the communication activities of METRO’s country organizations. Before joining METRO in 2013, she held positions in the German Bundestag and the Foreign Office. Ivonne holds a diploma in Political Sciences and Eastern European Studies from the University of Hamburg.


mr Anders HedegaarD, PRESIDENT & CEO, GN Store Nord & GN Hearing

Anders Hedegaard, President & CEO, GN Store Nord and GN Hearing, member of the executive management since 2014. Anders brings a unique set of capabilities and values to the executive management within global leadership, marketing and sales. 

Hedegaard has a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark. From 1991 to 2000 he worked at Novo Nordisk A/S in various marketing and management roles with increasing responsibility. In 2000, Anders was appointed Group Vice President and member of the executive group management in Foss A/S. From 2002 to 2007 he was Executive Vice President, Business Operations & International Marketing at ALK-Abelló A/S. Before joining GN Hearing, Anders was CEO of the listed Danish biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic A/S from 2007 - 2014.

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Mr Yasukazu Irino, Executive Vice President, Japan External Trade Organization

Mr. Yasukazu Irino has been Executive Vice President, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) since October 2017. Prior to this, he served as Deputy Director-General for Trade Policy, Trade Policy Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). Mr. Irino graduated with a Law degree from Tokyo University and upon graduation he joined METI in 1987. After then, he has held various positions including experience working overseas as visiting fellow at Stanford University in the US and Commercial Counsellor at Embassy of Japan in UK, Head of Singapore Office, Chief Representative for Asia and Oceania at NEXI Singapore, assigned by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). In Japan, he worked as Senior Fellow at Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry, Director of Small and Medium-sizes Enterprise Agency, and Natural Resources and Energy Agency in METI. He also worked as Executive Assistant to the Secretary of State of METI and Chief Representative for Parliament affairs at Minister's Secretariat of METI, Director General of Planning Department at JETRO to assist Japanese local governments and small and medium enterprises to expand their exports of agricultural, industrial and other products to overseas' market.


mr Anders Samuelsen, Minister of Foreign Affair, Denmark

Anders Samuelsen has served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark since November 2016 and is a member of the Danish Parliament for the Liberal Alliance. The Liberal Alliance was founded in 2007 by Anders Samuelsen and is in the center-right bloc in Danish politics. Prior to this, he was a member of the European Parliament. After being a consultant from 1994 to 1998, Anders Samuelsen held various positions in the national parliament. He has written several books about Denmark and the European Union, such as “The Road to a Better Europe – a bridge between Yes and No” (2004) and “Letters from Europe – the first years in Brussels” (2006). He graduated from Aarhus University in Denmark with a Master´s degree in Political Science in 1993.


mr JENS KlARSKOV, Cheif Executive officer, Danish Chambers of Commerce

Since 2008, Jens Klarskov has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Danish Chamber of Commerce. This is one of the largest professional business organisations in Denmark with more than 200 employees and offices in Copenhagen, Aarhus and in Brussels. The Danish Chamber of Commerce represents some 14,000 Danish companies and 100 trade associations within retail, tourism, business services, IT, welfare services and transportation.

Born in 1960, Jens Klarskov is a Master of Laws from the University of Copenhagen and before assuming his current position, he worked as a consultant in the Danish Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. From 1991-1994, he was the Managing Director of the Danish Landscape Contractors and from 1994 till 2003 he held a number of positions, including Managing Director, in the Danish Building Employers Confederation. From 2003 till 2008, Jens Klarskov was the Managing Director of the Danish Construction Association.