(Brussels, 12 October 2018) The European business organisations, signatories of this statement, hereby reiterate their strong support for the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and call on the European Parliament to proceed with a swift ratification process, following the signature of the Agreement on 17 July 2018. This will allow both businesses and consumers as a whole to reap the benefits of this modern, comprehensive and balanced Agreement.
Japan and the EU are two like-minded and highly developed economies with a similar approach to today’s challenges (i.e. aging population, security, environment) and long-standing trade and investment links. Trade in goods and services between Japan and the EU exceeds 160 billion euro per year, and bilateral exports are estimated to increase by 29% for Japan and 34% for the EU.
While the international community is witnessing a rise in protectionist measures across the world, the EU and Japan have, on numerous occasions, repeatedly sent positive signals by confirming their strong commitment to free and fair trade at both the multilateral and the bilateral level.
Our European business organisations here represented are convinced that the ratification of this Agreement will further reinforce the existing strategic collaboration, notably by creating a trade zone of 600 million people covering a third of global GDP, and by paving the way to shape together tomorrow’s international rules.
We stand strong behind this Agreement as it will deliver many benefits, such as:
- contributing to advancing both the social and economic agenda and thereby improving the quality of peoples’ lives in the EU and in Japan;
- ensuring economic predictability, a valuable tool of particular strategic importance in times when rules-based trade and cooperation is challenged;
- enabling a level playing field between both partners, with a whole new range of commercial opportunities for European and Japanese consumers and companies alike;
- removing almost all tariffs on goods, opening up services and public procurement markets and creating common rules for bilateral trade;
- guaranteeing and protecting geographical indications and intellectual property rights;
- facilitating services and investment flows;
- fostering collaboration by means of common R&D, new channels of regulatory cooperation, coherence and standardisation.
The Japan-EU EPA represents a thorough Agreement reflecting the shared interest and high-standard rules of two well-developed and value-based economies. We call on the European Parliament to endorse this high-standard Agreement to allow for its rapid final ratification. We also call on the European Parliament to carefully monitor the implementation of the Agreement to ensure that it delivers on its promises and that long-standing issues are solved.