EU-Japan deal 'can boost Irish exports'
Ireland can reap the economic benefits from the EU-Japan trade deal, especially in agri-exports, an MEP has said.
Currently Japan is Ireland's 11th most important trading partner.
But Ireland South MEP Seán Kelly says it is keen on importing more EU agricultural products - particularly dairy goods.
In 2013, Ireland exported over €1.6bn worth of goods to Japan, mostly from the agri-food, pharma/medical, ICT and financial services areas. Ireland imported just over €1bn worth of goods from Japan.
"An EU FTA with Japan opens up the possibility of growing that trade surplus substantially," Mr Kelly said.
The outline deal between the EU and Japan plans for the scrapping of duties on many European cheeses such as gouda and cheddar (currently 29.8pc). In addition it will allow the EU to increase its beef exports to Japan substantially, while on pork there will be duty-free trade in processed meat and almost duty-free trade for fresh meat, according to the MEP.
"The EU-Japan FTA is good news for Ireland, especially with regard to concerns for the trading impact of Brexit - new markets are vital. Being an EU Member State gives Ireland access to the Single Market and to new trading opportunities," added Mr Kelly.
Last month Japan's Ministry of Finance said the country will raise tariffs on frozen beef imports from the US and other countries from August to protect domestic producers.
Tariffs on frozen beef will jump to 50pc from the current 38.5pc between August 1 and the end of March next year, as a "safeguard" mechanism to protect domestic farmers. (Additional reporting by Reuters).