The EU agri-food chain partners, COPA and COGECA, CELCAA and FoodDrinkEurope, which have been supportive of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations since the start of the talks in 2013, welcome today’s positive vote by Members of the European Parliament and now look forward to the swift implementation of this EPA.
Following the approval of the EU-Japan EPA by the Japanese Diet (National Parliament) on 8 December, today’s consent by the European Parliament clears the way for this historic agreement to enter into force early next year.
We take this opportunity to reiterate that 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 products and help to better respond to changing consumer demands in each other’s economies. The agreement will also enhance the sector’s competitiveness in the dynamic Asia-Pacific region. Last but not least, the EU-Japan EPA should be recognised in the broader context, as strengthening cooperation between like-minded partners and supporters of rules-based international trade.
“The EU-Japan agreement will strengthen the relations with one of our key trade partners, create new export opportunities for European food and drink manufacturers supporting jobs and growth. Preferential market access conditions will enable European producers to better respond to Japanese demand for high quality European food and drinks”, said Mella Frewen, Director General FoodDrinkEurope.
Pekka Pesonen, Copa-Cogeca Secretary General underlined, “In these turbulent times, the EU needs to send a clear message to the world that its Single Market remains open to the global economy as long as the level playing field is secured. The Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan is a great example of such global partnership benefiting both sides and providing our agri-food producers with important market access, but also protection.”
Pascale Rouhier, Secretary General CELCAA added, “CELCAA welcomes the vote by the European Parliament to give its consent to the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. When implemented, the EPA will boost the competitiveness of the EU agri-food sector and commodities in the Japanese market while respecting the sensitivities of Japan’s agri-sector.”
*For further information on the benefits of the EU-Japan EPA for the EU agri-food sector please consult our infographic here.