Japan and the EU have signed what is described as “the largest bilateral trade deal ever” between the two.
The EU-Japan free trade agreement will remove 99% of tariffs paid by EU companies exporting to Japan, while 94% of tariffs on European exports to Japan will also be eliminated (before being expanded to 99%).
“The EU and Japan showed an undeterred determination to lead the world as flag-bearers for free trade,” said Shinzo Abe, Japanese prime minister.
“I have always been a strong believer in the potential of the EU-Japan partnership. And in today’s world, that partnership is more important than ever before. Our cooperation simply makes sense,” said the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, at the press conference following the Summit.
The Japanese tariff on wine, currently 15%, could be reduced to 0.75% once the deal is put into operation.
Japan is the EU’s second biggest trading partner in Asia. In 2017 the EU exported about 1.7 million hectolitres of wine worth €798 million to Japan.
Japan signed a free trade agreement with Chile in 2007, and Japan has since become Chile’s biggest export market for wine.