Members of the EU-Japan Follow-up Committee of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) visited Japan recently (27-31 January) to discuss the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) – in place since February 2019 – and to strengthen cooperation with Japanese counterparts. The visit included a roundtable on the circular economy and the first EU-Japan Joint Dialogue with civil society under the EPA, with trade and sustainable development issues on the agenda.
1 February 2020 marks the first anniversary of the entry into force of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). In the first ten months following the implementation of the agreement, EU exports to Japan went up by 6.6% compared to the same period the year before. This outperforms the growth in the past three years, which averaged 4.7% (Eurostat data). Japanese exports to Europe grew by 6.3% in the same period.
The EU concludes today the first round of negotiations to deepen the existing Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with five Eastern and Southern Africa partners (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe).
With its large aging population, Japan is one of the world’s largest markets for health care products. Any pharmaceutical or medical device sold in Japan must be approved by the PMDA, a Japanese national regulatory agency similar to the US FDA. We will discuss foreign entry into this market in Japan and practical considerations for dealing with the PMDA with Ariel Weber, who served as a full-time staff member for three years at the PMDA.