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EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement A 'Welcome Step': EuroCommerce

Published on Dec 17 2018 7:00 AM in Retail tagged: Japan / EuroCommerce / EUJEPA / EU-Japan Economic Partnership

EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement A 'Welcome Step': EuroCommerce

EuroCommerce, the body that represents the European retail and wholesale sector, has said that the EU-Japan Economic Partnership, which is scheduled to enter into force in February, is a 'welcome step' for global trade agreements.

Commenting on the agreement, Christian Verschueren, EuroCommerce director general said that the agreement "marks a new era of cooperation between the EU and Japan. It is by far more than a traditional Free Trade Agreement, not only removing trade barriers but a powerful signal that two of the world's biggest economies reject protectionism and share the same values in shaping the future world trading system.”

The EUJEPA, as it is known, was approved by the European Commission on Wednesday, and is set to create an open trading zone covering 635 million people and almost one third of the world’s total GDP.

It 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, for example on car exports.

Exports and Imports

As EuroCommerce noted, EU firms already export €58 billion worth of goods, and services worth €28 billion to Japan every year. The move will also benefit importers, with 99% of duties on the EU side being removed.

“A year after the political agreement on this trade deal, its ratification in the European Parliament now is a vital signal to the world trading system, and a great pre-Christmas-present for retailers, wholesalers - and the 627 million consumers in the two markets," commented Verschueren.

"They will be the main beneficiaries of the deal, with increased choice and quality at lower prices. That’s good news for everyone, and shows free trade at its best.”

Commenting on the agreement earlier this week, president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that the agreement will "deliver significant and tangible benefits for companies and citizens in Europe and Japan".

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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