Volume XVI, 7-2017
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New Export Opportunities in Asia

New Export Opportunities in Asia

In July, after five years of negotiation, an agreement in principle was reached on the main elements of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, with the conclusion of negotiations being expected by the end of this year. Apart from that, the final signature of the EU-Vietnam agreement is expected at the beginning of next year. Both deals create new possibilities for European and therefore Czech exporters.

The potential impact of the agreement on Czech exporters were the topic of a seminar organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and CEBRE - Czech Business Representation to the EU, which took place on 10th of October in Brno within the framework of the International Engineering Fair. Lucie Vondráčková, Director of the Trade Policy and International Economic Organizations Department of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade, compared the problematic areas of negotiations of both agreements.

As for Vietnam, the tariff elimination offer was rather weak at the beginning and transition periods leading to elimination of tariffs were long. In addition, protection of intellectual property rights, protection of geographical indications, and access to public procurement at all levels or restrictions on the share of foreign capital and the trade in services were one of the main points of the negotiations.

As for Japan, in addition to the issues mentioned for Vietnam, tariffs on industrial goods, agriculture, fisheries and forestry, and transitional periods for car tariffs were high on EU negotiations agenda.

In the end, the EU has managed to negotiate agreements that will promote mutual trade, eliminate 99% of tariffs, ensure high protection of geographical indications, high standards, better access to the services and public procurement, and will remove major non-tariff barriers. According to Pavel Fára, Deputy Director of the International Relations Department of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, Czech companies will also benefit from these agreements as they will open new opportunities on both markets. According to Pham Van Hien, Director of East Sea Travel, Czech products have a good reputation in Vietnam. In addition to traditional sectors such as engineering and energy, he sees the biggest potential for Czech companies in services and tourism. The situation in Japan is a bit different. According to Alice Tomášková, Director of the Czech branch of the Czech Chamber of Commerce in Japan, there are currently only 7 Czech companies operating on Japanese market. However, the potential is much bigger, from health and medical technology, through ICT, food, energy and energy storage, industry 4.0, engineering to chemicals.

Thanks to the agreement, the situation should improve and Czech products will become more competitive in Japan.

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Other articles in this issue:

SME Support Through EFSI Is Successful in the Czech Republic
Retailers Ready to Participate in Commission’s Dialogue on Different Standards
EESC Corner: EU – A Healthy Monetary Background and Fresh Finance
Dual Standards – We Want to Be a Part of the Solution