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New-generation trade agreement with Japan: Significance to EU Companies


Objective: The New-generation trade agreements, which include the agreement with Japan, provide wide coverage – not only the liberalisation of trade in goods or services but also the protection of intellectual property rights, the public procurement market, sustainable development and others. This paper aims to demonstrate key provisions and (both ex post and ex ante) opportunities that the agreement creates for EU companies.

Research Design & Methods: The research methods include a critical review of existing literature, an analysis of relevant legal and official documents of the European Union, as well as the provisions of the EU-Japan trade agreement. The empirical research focused on Eurostat data.

Findings: The provisions of the EU-Japan agreement provide an incentive for European companies to strengthen their position on the Japanese market. The elimination of import duties and other barriers to trade in Japan in relation to certain agricultural products on the entry into force of the agreement contributed to higher exports from the EU for these groups of goods. What might be expected is the additional effect of the liberalisation of bilateral trade on third countries. In fact, standards or rules agreed by Japan and the EU may become even more attractive to third countries, as their adoption would facilitate access to two large markets.

Implications & Recommendations: Japan is a relatively important trading partner for the EU and vice versa. One of the biggest achievements of the agreement made between the European Union and Japan includes the wide and deep liberalisation of trade in goods. Despite the fact that the overall level of tariff protection is relatively low, there are still some groups of goods for which the protection in the form of customs duties constitutes an important barrier, as a result of which the conditions for competing on the partner’s market deteriorate. It seems that EU entrepreneurs should make more use of the opportunities which are created by the provisions of the free trade agreement with Japan. So far, the trade crisis caused by the pandemic has stood in the way.

Contribution & Value Added: Research conducted so far is of an ex ante nature, both regarding the provisions of the agreement (publications written before 2018) and the evaluation of its potential effects on economy, trade, production or selected sectors. The research carried out in this article is of an ex post nature; it covers the period following the entry into force of the agreement and does not present any growth scenarios or forecasts, as was the case in the existing research. The article attempted to juxtapose the provisions of the agreement with Japan with trade conditions applicable to EU companies, as well as with the growth rate, volume and coverage of bilateral trade in goods.


new-generation trade agreement, free trade agreements (FTAs), Japan, the European Union, customs duties, non-tariff barriers

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Author Biography

Małgorzata Czermińska

She obtained a doctoral degree and a habilitation degree at the Cracow University of Economics. Her research interests include common trade policy of the European Union and its instruments, the common market of the European Union and the exercise of Its fundamental freedoms, facilitation and ensuring security in cross-border trade in goods.


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