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Statement by Minister Motegi on the signing of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement

July 8th, 2014

  1. Following seven years of negotiations, Japan and Australia have come to the signing of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement today.
  2. Having personally held intensive talks with Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb over the last six months and despite sensitive issues for both parties making negotiations extremely challenging, I firmly believe we have achieved positive results which will be of mutual benefit for both countries.
  3. With the entry of this EPA into force, the percentage of tariff-free goods of total export value to Australia will increase from the current under 30% to more than 80%. Moreover, the tariffs on most of the remaining goods will be eliminated during the following eight years.
  4. Specifically, in the automotive sector, which accounts for approximately half of all exports, of which the tariff rate is currently 5%, tariffs on approximately 75% of exported whole vehicles will be abolished immediately. Tariffs on the remaining exported whole vehicles will be abolished in the third year, and a massive improvement in market access will be realized.
  5. Along with elimination of tariffs, high-level agreements in a broad range of fields were achieved, including the stable supply of resources and energy including natural gas and coal, the liberalization of investment and trade in services, the improvement of rules for electronic commerce and government procurement, and the protection of intellectual property rights.
  6. Japan and Australia share a close and critical economic relationship, and this EPA is a valuable framework for strengthening future trade and investment between our two nations. In order to achieve the entry into force of this EPA at the earliest possible date, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will make utmost efforts to obtain the approval of the Diet.

 
Last updated:2014-07-08
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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