FTA with Japan to boost exports of EU wines and Scotch whisky
Japan and the EU have signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which is expected to boost exports of EU wines and Scotch whisky.
The agreement follows a series of negotiations over a period of four years. Japan will offer preferential access to EU wines and spirits alongside an exemption from import taxes.
Welcoming this development, the Scotch Whisky Association's chief executive officer (CEO) Karen Betts said: “We welcome the political agreement between the EU and Japan, and hope this will lead quickly to a deal being finalised, ratified, and introduced.
“An FTA between two of the world’s largest economies will have wide-reaching benefits across a range of sectors and progress is especially welcome during the Brexit process, at a time when the future direction of trade policy is being considered.
“While Scotch whisky already enjoys a zero tariff in Japan, the FTA is important to the industry and introduces specific legal protection for Scotch Whisky in Japan for the first time.”
This agreement is expected to put the EU on a level playing field with countries such as Chile, which already have signed FTA with Japan, reported Thedrinksbusiness.com.
Besides being the world’s fourth richest economy, Japan is also the EU’s second largest trading partner in Asia, according to Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV).
CEEV's secretary general Ignacio Sánchez Recarte was quoted by the website as saying: “At the moment, we are competing with countries that are not facing the same restrictions that we are.
“Just look at our major competitor, Chile, which enjoyed significant increases in market share in Japan after the implementation of its Free Trade Agreement. EU wine now has the tools to reconquer the market.”