- Title: Japan and EU to sign a free-trade deal ahead of G20 meeting
- Date: 5th July 2017
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (JULY 5, 2017) (REUTERS) SANTOS SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN BUSINESS LOBBY GROUP BUSINESSEUROPE DIRECTOR, LUISA SANTOS, SAYING: "We are basically at the same level in terms of economic development. We are fast, we are highly developed economies, we are mature economies. In the case of the trade between the two, it's been always from the start a bargaining or a connection between tariffs and non-tariffs measures."
- Embargoed: 19th July 2017 15:45
- Keywords: Japan European Union trade deal Japanese trade minister Shinzo Abe summit
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM AND TOKYO, JAPAN
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM AND TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Government/Politics,International Trade
- Reuters ID: LVA0046OFZ58N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: European businesses said on Wednesday (July 5) the signing of a free-trade deal between the European Union and Japan will be an 'important political sign,' as leaders prepare to meet for a G20 Summit amidst a resurgence of protectionism.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is due in Brussels on Thursday (July 6) to conclude a political agreement with the heads of the main European Union institutions.
Senior EU officials said some issues, as well as legal technicalities, had to be worked out in the coming months before a full treaty would be ready for signing.
A director at business lobby group BusinessEurope, Luisa Santos said the EU and Japan have reached a similar level of economic development and that the negotiation of the agreement focused on the lifting of tariffs and on increased regulatory cooperation.
Taking regulatory requirements imposed on European cars as an example, Santos said the deal would seek to address the difficulties currently faced by EU exporters in Japan, where regulatory requirements are different from Europe and where tariffs are imposed on car imports.
She said Japanese companies would also benefit from the free trade agreement as it would eliminate European tariffs on the import of car parts.
Santos said another key issue for European businesses was to gain access to Japanese public markets.
She added the deal would also facilitate the drafting of future trade deals as it included a segment on regulatory cooperation that previous deals - such as one signed in October 2016 between the EU and Canada - did not set out to the same level.
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