EU-Japan EPA Forum Background
Japan is the EU’s second biggest trading partner in Asia after China. The EU and Japan comprise more than 600 million people, constituting nearly 30% of global GDP and 40% of world trade. With the EU and Japan embarking on the largest free trade agreement, significant trade and investment opportunities will arise across key industries in two of the world’s most advanced economics once the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) enters into force by early 2019.
As a result of regulatory streamlining, the removal of technical trade barriers and the elimination of approximately 97 percent of import tariffs, the EPA is projected to more than double European exports to Japan from circa €80bn a year to over €180bn a year within a 10-year time frame, with a similar dramatic increase in Japanese exports to the EU going from €55bn to over €140bn.
The main elements of the agreement
The Economic Partnership Agreement 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.
With regards to agricultural exports from the EU, the agreement will, in particular:
scrap duties on many cheeses such as Gouda and Cheddar (which currently are at 29.8%) as well as on wine exports (currently at 15% on average);
allow the EU to increase its beef exports to Japan substantially, while on pork there will be duty-free trade in processed meat and almost duty-free trade for fresh meat;
ensure the protection in Japan of more than 200 high-quality European agricultural products, so called Geographical Indications (GIs), and will also ensure the protection of a selection of Japanese GIs in the EU.
The agreement also opens up services markets, in particular financial services, e-commerce, telecommunications and transport. It also…
guarantees EU companies access to the large procurement markets of Japan in 48 large cities, and removes obstacles to procurement in the economically important railway sector at national level;
addresses specific sensitivities in the EU, for instance in the automotive sector, with transition periods before markets are opened.
The deal also includes a comprehensive chapter on trade and sustainable development; sets the highest standards of labour, safety, environmental and consumer protection; strengthens EU and Japan's actions on sustainable development and climate change and fully safeguards public services. Source: European Commission
Articles & Publications
Below you will find a selection of links to articles and publications, providing you with insights on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), expected to enter into force by early 2019.
European Commission: "EU and Japan sign Economic Partnership Agreement" July 17, 2018.
New York Times: "E.U. Courts New Partners With Japan Trade Deal" July 17, 2018.
Nikkei Asian Review: "Five things to know about Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement" July 17, 2018.
LSE Consulting, Hosuk Lee-Makiyama: "At the Nexus of Trade & Investment", July 2018
Finansicial Times: "EU strikes data deal with Japan with UK looking on" The agreement will create the world's largest open area for trade, 17 July, 2018
New York Times: "The E.U.-Japan Trade Deal: What’s in It and Why It Matters" July 6, 2018. VIDEO available.
Bloomberg BNA: "EU, Japan Aim to Mutually Recognize Data Privacy Regimes in 2018" July 5, 2018.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, MOFA "Japan-EU EPA, Benefits and Backgrounds", July 2018.
European Commission, ‘Economic Impact of the Eu-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)” June 2018
European Commission - Statement, 8 December 2017 'Joint Statement by the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe'
Ifo Institute on 'The Economics of an EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement' by Prof. Gabriel Felbermayr, 2017
Copenhagen Economics, Assessment of barriers to trade and investment between the EU and Japan, 2009
European Commission - Speech by EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, 11 July 2017, 'The Benefits of an EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement'
European Commission, The EU-Japan agreement explained
European Commission - Basic Facts Sheet 'EU-Japan Trade Relationship – Facts and figures'
European Commission - Regulatory cooperation and non-tariff measures 'An introduction to the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement'
European Commission - Overview of relevant EPA documents
European Commission, Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Japan, 2016
Please feel free to contact the organisers, should you wish to obtain more background information on the EPA.