The European Commission will consider and seek, in the coming months, support from the Member States to formally initiate the negotiation of a trade agreement with Japan. It is a country where Spanish exports of fruit and vegetables have fallen by 99% in the last ten years, and among the community 31%.
Spanish fruit and vegetable exports in 2002 stood at 2,934 tons and in 2011 were 18 tons, due to phytosanitary barriers imposed by Japan, according FEPEX.
The decline in exports has also been produced in other EU countries, so EU exports to Japan have fallen 31% in the last ten years, going from 10,384 tons in 2002 to 7195 tons in 2011.
In 2010, the European Commission began a scoping exercise to assess the start of negotiations on a free trade agreement with Japan, which ended this summer.
The outlook is not positive, as Japan still fails to ensure the elimination of technical barriers imposed on exports of all economic sectors.
Now, the European Commission will seek the support of Member States to start formal negotiations, as discussed in a briefing held in Madrid on the relationship between the EU and Japan organized by the Secretariat of State for Commerce.