The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will enter into force on 1 February 2019. Together the European Union and Japan form a trading zone of 635 million consumers and the agreement will cover nearly one third of the world’s total GDP.
"The trade agreement offers good opportunities for increasing Finland's exports to Japan, because tariffs will be abolished on many important export products in the plastics, chemicals and forest industries, for example. Exporters of Finnish foods will find it easier to break into the Japanese market," Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen says.
The agreement's entry into force will immediately remove tariffs on 90 per cent of exports from the EU to Japan. Through strengthening commitment to international standards, the agreement will ensure a better level of transparency and offer tariff concessions for businesses. In the course of the negotiations, several significant trade barriers were abolished on health technology products, medicines, cosmetics, and textiles, for instance. New business opportunities will open up also for large cities’ public procurements in Japan.
"Japan is already one of Finland's growing trading partners. Quality-conscious Japanese people are interested in Finnish products. The agreement will further improve our products' competitiveness. Consumers will also benefit from the elimination of tariffs on Japanese import products," Minister Virolainen says.
For Finland, Japan is the biggest trading partner in Asia after China. In 2017, the value of goods exports from Finland to Japan was EUR 1.3 billion while the value of goods imports amounted to EUR 716 million. In 2017, Finland's exports in services to Japan totalled EUR 720 million and the value of imports was EUR 261 million.