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EU agri-food chain organisations welcome EU-Japan trade deal

Posted: 19 July 2018 | | No comments yet

Leaders reiterated their resolve to work together, resulting in benefits for food and beverage exporters under the new Economic Partnership Agreement.

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A landmark agreement signed by of the EU and Japan has been welcomed by leading organisations in the European food and beverage industry.

On July 17 in Tokyo, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, met with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the 25th annual EU-Japan summit.

Leaders reaffirmed their determination to work together, setting out the Strategic Partnership Agreement and the Economic Partnership Agreement, which will significantly enhance bilateral relations.

The Economic Partnership Agreement creates an open trade zone covering over 600 million people and approximately a third of global GDP. It aims to cut tariffs and eliminate the majority of the €1 billion of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan, on the food and beverage sector. 

Europe’s food industry welcomed the new trade agreement, urging the “important step towards reinforcing the relations with on of our key trade partners.”

In a joint statement, Copa and Cogeca, CELCAA and FoodDrinkEurope said: “The EU-Japan EPA comes with high expectations, both in terms of tariff reductions and removal of non-tariff barriers to trade, which are expected to create significant opportunities for European exports of agricultural products, food and drinks. The trade agreement is of strategic importance as it will strengthen the sector’s competitive position in the dynamic and growing Asia-Pacific region.

“It is now essential that after the signature of the EU-Japan EPA, the European Parliament supports the swift and successful ratification of the agreement.”

This agreement will give easier access for key EU agricultural exports to the Japanese market of 127 million wealthy consumers, increasing prospects of EU exports.

Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström said: “We are sending a strong signal to the world that two of its biggest economies still believe in open trade, opposing unilateralism and protectionism.”

Malmström went on to explain how the agreement has economic benefits; that by removing levies on exports and simplifying customs procedures, individual companies will be able to put more efforts and resources into exports and growing their businesses.

The full comments of President Jean-Claude Junker at the press conference following the summit are available, along with a Joint Summit Statement.

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