Japan-EU EPA to Create Huge Economic Zone as Early as 2019

Economy Politics

Tokyo, July 17 (Jiji Press)--The economic partnership agreement signed by Japan and the European Union on Tuesday will create a huge economic zone with a total population of 600 million that accounts for 30 pct of the world's gross domestic product.

Japan and the EU will promote free trade through the high levels of liberalization attained by the EPA, ready to serve as a bulwark against protectionist moves by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Under the deal, seen taking effect in the first half of 2019 at the earliest, Japan and the EU are set to abolish tariffs on over 90 pct of the trade items between the two sides.

In Japan, the EPA is expected to lower retail prices of cheese, wine and pasta imported from the EU. The deal also includes new rules on protection of intellectual property rights, such as patents.

"The EPA will make it easier for Japanese companies to do business in the eurozone and boost the country's exports," a senior official of the Japanese Foreign Ministry said. 

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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