Economics Leadership

EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) closer to conclusion

With US withdrawal from TPP and BREXIT, the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement moves to the center of attention

EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement and Economic Partnership Agreement nearing conclusion, maybe this summer.

EU and Japan started to prepare for Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the political framework Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) at the 20th EU-Japan Summit in May 2011, three years after Japan and USA had jointed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.

For several years, TPP was catching headlines, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saw TPP as a core component of his Abenomics program to restarted Japan’s economy from 20 years of stagnation. The EU-Japan FTA and EPA negotiations always seemed to be in the shadow of TPP.

In the meantime, President Trump has decided to withdraw from TPP, and the UK seems to be on the way to BREXIT.

The EU-Japan FTA and EPA negotiations have moved to the center of attention, and seem to near conclusion.

Trade in goods is only one of 14 different working groups – a modern FTA is very complex

  1. Trade in goods (including Market Access, General Rules and Trade Remedies)
  2. Non-Tariff Measures and Technical Barriers to Trade
  3. Rules of Origin
  4. Customs and Trade Facilitation
  5. Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
  6. Trade in Services
  7. Investment
  8. Procurement
  9. Intellectual Property (including Geographical Indications)
  10. Competition Policy
  11. Other issues (General and Regulatory Cooperation, Business Environment, Animal Welfare)
  12. Trade and Sustainable Development
  13. Dispute Settlement
  14. General, Institutional and Final Provisions and Transparency

Don’t be blinded: Free Trade Agreements reduce business costs and risks and create access – but they don’t guarantee business success

the Free Trade Agreement will open new sectors previously closed to any foreign company in Japan, e.g. railways procurement, and reduce many barriers, however, top-class leadership, deep Japan knowledge at all levels of management, sufficient investments, and products or services with a large competitive advantage remain crucial to success in Japan.

Free Trade Agreements reduce business costs and risks, but do not eliminate them.

More about the EU-Japan Free Trade (FTA) and Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA):


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