EU-Japan FTA close

EU-Japan FTA close

30/06/17

Sam Deave, Corporate Services Manager

The EU and Japan are close to finalising their free trade agreement, which both sides are pushing to close before the G20 meeting next Friday in Hamburg, Germany.

EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, and the Agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan, have flown to Tokyo for final discussions. The deal would open up new markets for European food exports and expand automotive trade between the two.

Discussions started back in 2013 and were expected to be finalised last December. There is more hope for success this time round: the discussions have become more important to Japan since the withdrawal from the 12-member Trans-Pacific Partnership by the US under President Trump, putting the whole deal at risk. In turn, the deal is important to the EU as Japan is the second biggest trading partner in Asia after China. For more detail on the agreement see here.

At the moment the only enforced EU trade deal in Asia is that with South Korea, though the hope is that Vietnam and Singapore won’t be too far behind. Peter Berz, from the European Commission DG Trade, joined Asia House Corporate Members this week to discuss current negotiations with ASEAN countries.