The Japan-EU Partnership Agreement: Strengthening Ties Between Two Global Powers
The Japan-EU Partnership Agreement, also known as the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), is a comprehensive free trade agreement signed on July 17, 2018, between Japan and the European Union (EU). It is considered to be one of the largest and most ambitious trade deals ever negotiated, encompassing a market of over 600 million people and a combined GDP of around $22 trillion.
The EPA aims to eliminate or reduce tariffs on a range of goods and services traded between Japan and the EU, thus facilitating greater trade and investment flows between the two economic powers. It covers a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, automotive, pharmaceutical, and financial services, among others. The agreement also includes provisions on intellectual property, regulatory cooperation, and sustainable development.
This partnership agreement is expected to bring significant benefits to both sides. For Japan, the EPA provides access to a huge market of consumers and businesses in Europe, which will help to diversify its export markets and reduce its reliance on the United States and China. It will also provide Japanese companies with greater opportunities to invest and do business in Europe, including in areas such as infrastructure, energy, and digital technology.
For the EU, the EPA will enhance its economic ties with one of the world`s largest and most advanced economies. It will provide European businesses with improved access to the Japanese market, thereby boosting trade and investment flows. Moreover, the agreement will help to promote high standards of labor, environmental protection, and social rights, as well as support sustainable development goals.
In addition to the economic benefits, the Japan-EU Partnership Agreement has important geopolitical implications. It comes at a time when the global trade system is facing turbulent times, with rising protectionism, trade disputes, and uncertainty over the future of multilateral trade agreements. The EPA demonstrates that Japan and the EU are committed to an open, rules-based, and free trade system, and are willing to work together towards that end.
Overall, the Japan-EU Partnership Agreement is a landmark achievement in the global trade arena. It represents a significant step towards deepening and strengthening the ties between two of the world`s most important economic powers, and provides a positive example of how countries can work together to promote trade, investment, and sustainable development.