EU Agri-food chain calls for swift implementation of the EU-Japan EPA

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(Brussels, 16 October 2018) Today, in a workshop held in the European Parliament, the EU Agri-food chain partners - COPA and COGECA, CELCAA and FoodDrinkEurope - reiterated their support for the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Japan is among the strategic export destinations for EU agri-food products, with further potential for growth. The agreed elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers, the protection of European geographical indications (GIs), and future cooperation on agriculture and food related matters will create new export opportunities for a wide range of European productions. The agreement will also enhance the sector’s competitiveness in the dynamic Asia-Pacific region

European Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development, Phil Hogan, underlined that: “The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement is an important and mutually beneficial agreement, which has the potential to provide significant market opportunities for European farmers, food producers and the whole value chain. The EU is a world leader in the production of high-quality food. The implementation of this major trade agreement will be a door-opener to a large and valuable market. The negotiations, which concluded in the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, also illustrate how such agreements can respect each partner’s sensitivities, while still providing a win-win outcome for both sides.”
MEP Pedro Silva Pereira, the rapporteur for the EU-Japan EPA and the host of the event added: “The European Parliament will have the final say on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and it is therefore important to continue listening to stakeholders, like we did today with the EU Agri-food chain organisations. The EU Agri-food sector expects significant export opportunities, as the agreement will for example eliminate tariffs on European wine, which now stand at 15%, and protect 205 EU geographical indications, which are particularly important for SMEs. Safe and high-quality food for consumers is also key for the European Parliament.”  
Fraser Cameron, Director of the EU-Asia Centre, concluded by saying that: “The EU-Japan EPA is hugely important as a signal that both actors are committed to a rules-based, multilateral system.”
The three organisations call on the Honourable Members of the European Parliament to provide their consent and support for a swift and successful ratification of the agreement.

*Further information on the benefits of the EU-Japan EPA for the EU agri-food sector can be found in the dedicated infographic.

Download the joint press release ( pdf - 319KB )