The Government of Flanders is pleased that the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Japan came into force on 1 February. The agreement gives Flemish companies access to the third largest economy in the world.
The EU-Japan trade agreement, which will remove almost 97% of the Japanese and 99% of the EU tariffs over time, will be beneficial for all parties; also for Flanders. For example, the Flemish agri-food producers get access to what used to be a fairly closed market The agreement also reinforces the anchoring of Japanese car manufacturers on the European mainland. The Flemish ports will also benefit, since they form an important part of the logistics network of Japanese car manufacturers.
Other elements of the agreement that Flanders anticipates to be beneficiary are the further opening of the markets for services and investments, access to Japanese public procurement and the chapter on SMEs - very important for both economies.
The Government of Flanders also considers the trade agreement between the EU and Japan an important signal to other trading partners: in times of increasing protectionism, the EU succeeds in concluding agreements with economic powers. The EU can share its international vision and approach to trade policy and be an important partner for the modernisation of the multilateral trading system. Minister-president Bourgeois: "We demonstrate to the rest of the world that free and fair trade is the future".
The Department and Flanders Investment & Trade will continue to follow up the implementation of the trade agreement and, where necessary, raise problems with the European Commission. As always, companies can report problems to the Contact point on trade barriers (Meldpunt Handelsbelemmeringen).
photo: European Commission