A push from EU and Japanese textile entrepreneurs for EPA
On behalf of the Textile and Clothing (T&C) industry in Europe and Japan, EURATEX and JTF Japan Textile Federation and ahead of the EU – Japan Summit, these organisations call strongly on EU and Japanese leaders to expedite negotiations for the EPA the EU – Japan Economic Partnership Agreement
It is common knowledge that the T&C industry is a growing sector on a worldwide basis. It operates in a very competitive environment. EU and Japan are still taking leading roles in developing high technology and quality of fibres and fabrics, as well as in creating high value added apparels and fashion.
Both are key export markets for the respective T&C industry. Japan is the 7th export market reaching almost EUR 1.9 billion (JPY 194 billion), Japan represents the 5th export market for EU clothing exports. For the Japanese T&C industry, the EU is the 2nd export market reaching almost EUR 0.7 billion (JPY 66 billion).
The trade structure of T&C between the EU and Japan is considered to be complementary. EPA would expand trade and investment in the two sectors between the two parties and promote further business development. EPA would allow to build-up platforms in various types of R&D cooperation for the sector and by creating innovations and business opportunities.
However some conditions are essential to be provided by EPA, namely duty free access from day one for all T&C products with full reciprocity and at no exceptions. The agreement would have to ensure double transformation (two steps rule) in view to rules of origin and a harmonisation and compliance with international standards in the regulatory area, such as labelling.
Further the EU industry declares the need that the agreement contains enhanced provision in view to access to Public Procurement markets, transparency in retail and protection of textile designs. The Japanese industry is currently assessing these provisions and both organisations are considering issuing a more detailed common statement at a later stage.
In addition both negotiators from the EU and Japan will consider these topics into full consideration on the way to arrive at an agreement that is ambitious and forward looking. It should lead to the creation of an environment that is conducive to business in the T&C sector, both in the EU and Japan.