EU, Japan finalise Economic Partnership Agreement

2017/12 18 16:12

EU, Japan finalise Economic Partnership Agreement

Building on the political agreement reached in principle during the European Union (EU)-Japan Summit in July this year, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono recently announced in Brussels the conclusion of the final discussions on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the biggest bilateral trade pact by the EU. The EPA will remove the vast majority of the €1 billion of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan, as well as a number of long-standing regulatory barriers. It will also open up the Japanese market of 127 million consumers to key EU agricultural exports and will increase EU export opportunities in a range of other sectors, according to an EU press release. The agreement will scrap duties on wines and many varieties of cheese, ensure the protection in Japan of more than 200 high-quality European agricultural products, open up services markets, such as financial services, e-commerce, telecommunications and transport, and guarantee EU companies access to the large procurement markets of Japan in 48 large cities. The deal includes a specific commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and a comprehensive chapter on trade and sustainable development, sets the highest standards of labour, safety, environmental and consumer protection and strengthens EU and Japan's actions on sustainable development and climate change. (DS)

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