Japan, EU Conclude EPA Talks
Tokyo, Dec. 8 (Jiji Press)—Japan and the European Union said Friday that they have concluded talks on an economic partnership agreement, a deal that will create a huge free trade zone encompassing some 30% of global gross domestic product.
The two sides agreed to exclude investment protection standards and investment protection dispute resolution, the most challenging issues in the negotiations, from the EPA in a bid to put the pact into force in 2019.
Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker confirmed the conclusion of the EPA talks in a telephone conversation.
"Japan and the EU will join hands to create an economic zone based on free and fair rules," Abe told reporters after the phone talks with Juncker.
The EPA is designed not only to spur economic growth by promoting trade and investment, but also to stem the spread of trade protectionism.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]