A focus on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement


The Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Japan, signed on 17 July 2018, entered into force on 1 February 2019. At a time of growing trade tensions, this agreement sends an important signal in support of open, mutually beneficial global trade founded on demanding standards.

This agreement opens up major economic prospects, creating a zone of almost 600 million people representing close to 30% of global GDP.

This agreement is particularly beneficial for French farmers and exporters: Japan is France’s sixth-largest trading partner outside the European Union. Some 8,000 French companies already export there, many of them first-time exporters, selling goods worth more than €6 billion. The Japanese market offers considerable potential for French products, given its size and the high standards of its consumers.

The benefits of the agreement

This agreement ensures better access to the Japanese market, and thus new export opportunities for European and French producers, particularly those selling beef, pork, cheese, processed products, wines and spirits;

The provisions on geographical indications of this agreement protect many French products, including Champagne and Roquefort cheese.

The agreement also brings about greater reciprocity in access to public procurement, opening up new opportunities for many European businesses, especially in the rail field.

An agreement based on high social and environmental standards

This agreement includes the key European principles of the right to regulate and high environmental protection and labour standards.

It also includes commitments to respect multilateral agreements and ratify the International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions.

The agreement clearly promotes climate action and incorporates measures to combat climate change. It commits both countries to implement the Paris Agreement.

Updated: June 2019