INTERVIEW: EU Parliament Veep Sees Big Potential in Japan EPA


Brussels, Feb. 7 (Jiji Press)--European Parliament Vice President Pedro Silva Pereira expects further positive effects from the European Union's economic partnership agreement with Japan, which marked its first anniversary at the start of February.

"The first impression that we have (of the pact) is quite positive," Silva Pereira told Jiji Press on Wednesday, citing a year-on-year rise of 6.6 pct in EU exports to Japan over the 10 months to November last year.

"I would say that the relationship between Europe and Japan is now perhaps at the very best moment ever in our common history," he said in an interview.

Silva Pereira was in charge of European Parliament deliberations on the free trade deal from an early stage of Japan-EU negotiations. For his dedicated efforts to expand support for the EPA, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, by the Japanese government in autumn last year.

"I'm glad that we were successful in negotiating this economic partnership agreement," the Portuguese politician said. "It is fair to say that this is the most progressive agreement ever concluded in the world."

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