Ireland has the opportunity to benefit from the recently agreed EU-Japan trade deal – with agricultural exports well positioned to gain, according to Ireland South MEP Seán Kelly.
The outline deal was signed on July 6th and welcomed by many in Irish agriculture.
“The EU and Japan have formally agreed an outline free-trade deal, just as Ireland celebrates 60 years of diplomatic relations with Japan. Japan is Ireland’s 11th most important trading partner and a country that is keen on importing more EU agricultural products, particularly dairy goods,” said Kelly. The Fine Gael MEP and former GAA president is a Member of the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee.
“In 2013 Ireland exported over €1.6 billion worth of goods to Japan, mostly from the agri-food, pharma/medical, ICT and financial services areas, whereas Ireland imported just over €1 billion worth from Japan. An EU FTA with Japan opens up the possibility of growing that trade surplus substantially,” he said.
Kelly points to the scrapping of duty on European cheeses as well as an increase in beef exports, provision for duty-free trade in processed meat , and a near-duty-free fresh meat regime.
“The EU-Japan FTA is good news for Ireland, especially with regard to concerns for the trading impact of Brexit – new markets are vital. Being an EU member state gives Ireland access to the single market and to new trading opportunities. More trade means more jobs,” said Kelly.
The final text of the agreement is due by the end of 2017 and will come before the European Parliament and member states.