17 Jul 2018

DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the signature of ambitious trade agreement between EU and Japan

DIGITALEUROPE warmly applauds the signature of the most ambitious bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement to date and looks forward to a speedy ratification process.

“The EU and Japan are sending a strong signal in favour of free trade around the world. We are grateful to the Japanese government and to the European Commission for their efforts in improving the global business environment, as the agreement is meant to trigger a long-term GDP increase for the EU estimated to +0.76% and an increase of exports by + 34% for the EU”, said Cecilia BonefeldDahl, Director General of DIGITALEUROPE.

34%

increased exports resulting from the free trade agreement between EU & Japan

Japan and the EU have a long history of collaboration and DIGITALEUROPE has been an active supporter of the EU-Japan Agreement since its inception. To reiterate the importance of the collaboration with Japan, Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl visited Japan in April 2018 to engage with business and government leaders and government. She participated in the 7th ICT Strategies Workshop Dialogue and in the EU-Japan Business Roundtable. She also strengthened the relationships withDIGITALEUROPE’s Japanese members’ headquarters and with our partner association JEITA.

We are convinced that the signature of this agreement will contribute to advancing the social and economic agendas of both partners and will lead to new commercial opportunities. In addition to strengthening the economic relationship, collaboration in the field of digital technology will be advanced through common R&D, standardisation and regulatory cooperation. This is an opportunity for the EU and Japan to lead the realisation of AI and Society 5.0, based on common and shared values.

We also welcome the mutual adequacy decision taken by the EU and Japan in the field of data protection. Japan and the EU thereby officially recognise each other’s equivalent level of data protection, which will secure the transfer of personal data between the two partners.

However, we are disappointed that the EPA itself does not include a broader provision on cross- border data flows, one of the key enablers of the 21st century economy and trade relations. The EU- Japan EPA represented a great opportunity for an ambitious approach in this area, not only to unleash the opportunities of the digital economy between the two countries, but also to set a high standard for future multilateral and plurilateral trade agreements.

DIGITALEUROPE remains committed to collaborating with likeminded organisations and policy- makers to ensure that the agreement will be ratified and implemented in a timely manner.

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