From this Friday to the European Union and Japan form the largest free trade zone in the world. The so-called Jefta-agreement duties and other trade aims to remove barriers almost entirely, and the economic growth.

The 2018 agreement combines markets with more than 600 million people. Together, the EU and Japan for nearly a third of the world’s economic activity. Japan is, after the USA and China the third largest economy in the world and therefore a very interesting market for European companies.

Specifically, trade agreements, for example, provides for the free, that European food producers can introduce processed pork meat, certain cheeses and wine duty-free to Japan. Other bilateral regulations by Jefta obsolete – European companies can sell their products without additional testing, certification or labelling in Japan.

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The Japanese side, however, is especially interested in the proposed tariff reductions for industrial goods – in particular cars. On passenger vehicles from the Japanese production is currently subject to a levy in the amount of ten per cent, on commercial vehicles, there are customs duties in the amount of 10 to 22 percent.

praise from the BDI, criticism from environmental and consumer watchdogs

The Federation of German industries (BDI), described the agreement as a milestone. “In order for Japan and Europe, contrary to the uncertain global economic Outlook, examples of market openness, high Standards and reliable trading rules”, – commented on the BDI management Board member Stefan Mair.

environmental and consumer advocates, the new trade agreements of the EU see, however, critical. You are of the opinion that the Deals are mainly the interests of large corporations and the Setting of strict Standards is much more difficult to make. Also, they fear that savings will not be passed on by the absence of import duties by the companies to consumers.

The EU trade policy, EU-Commission rejects these allegations, however. With the Japan agreement, you are committed to a common set of values and to adhere to the highest Standards in fields such as labour, safety, environmental and consumer protection, said Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.

click here to read what trade agreements Jefta includes:

EU free trade agreement with Japan, Then without the USA

In Brussels, reference is made to the political signal effect of the agreement: As a reason for the quick conclusion of the economic policy of U.S. President Donald Trump. This is accused by the EU and Japan, protectionist policies are to be set with the establishment of a giant free trade zone.

Merkel is traveling to Tokyo

Chancellor Angela Merkel has made your trip to Tokyo next Monday and Tuesday of this character: the visit of The Chancellor is offering you the opportunity to send a strong Signal that the Federal government with Japan in the difficult world political conditions, a close and reliable relationships to care for, it was said in German government circles in Berlin.

in Both countries the associations common challenges around demographic change, digitalization, changes in the world of work and sustainable energy supply, it said. Added to this is the joint commitment to multilateralism, democracy, the rule of law and global free trade. Topics of the talks are also likely to be the North Korean nuclear program, the future of the Iranian nuclear programme as well as the relationship to China and Russia.

kko/dpa/Reuters